There’s a lot you can take away from this time of year and it’ll still feel festive. We can all do without the obligatory office parties, or those people who turn their cars into reindeers. We could still deck the halls without the visit to an overcrowded mall. But we couldn’t really celebrate the holidays without great food, an outstanding beer, and the people we love.
Here are a few holiday favorites to share with the ones you love enough to cook for, boozed up for your holiday enjoyment. Recipes that feel elegant, but are still simple at any skill level. The recipes call for a relatively small amount of beer so open something you won’t mind pouring the “leftover” into a glass and enjoying as you cook.
Scotch Ale Candied Sweet Potatoes
· 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
· 1 cup packed light brown sugar
· ½ cup unsalted butter
· ½ cup Scotch ale
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· ¼ cup pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Add the potatoes to an 8X8 baking dish.
2. Add the brown sugar, butter, Scotch ale, and salt to a saucepan over high heat.
3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Pour the caramel sauce over the potatoes.
4. Bake the potatoes for 25 minutes, stir, coating all the potatoes in the caramel sauce, return to oven and bake until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 additional minutes.
5. Spoon sauce over the potatoes, sprinkle with pecans, serve warm.
Brown Sugar Rauchbier Glazed Ham
· 1 (10-12 lbs) bone in spiral cut ham, fully cooked
· 1 ½ cups brown sugar
· ¼ cup Rauchbier
· ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
· ½ teaspoon smoked Maldon salt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Add the ham to a roasting rack in a roasting pan, cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, beer, and cayenne pepper. Stir until well combined.
3. Remove the foil (do not add the foil back after basting). Using a basting brush, brush the ham liberally with the glaze.
4. Bake for 15 additional minutes, baste again. Remove from the oven when the ham reaches approximately 120° F, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, brush one final time with the glaze, then sprinkle with the smoked salt, if using.
Note: Ham comes fully cooked. Just like deli meat, it can be eaten cold, right from the package. Reheating it to the 165°F recommended by the USDA for cooking pork is unnecessary, as it has already been cooked to this temperature. Reheating past 120° will only dry out the ham unnecessarily.
Barrel Aged Stout Chocolate Cubes Recipe
· 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
· 20 wt oz dark chocolate chips (60% cacao content)
· ⅓ cup barrel aged stout beer
· 2 tablespoons butter
· ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a double boiler over gently simmering water add the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, beer, butter and vanilla extract.
2. Stir constantly until melted and combined, keeping heat low to medium to make sure the chocolate doesn’t become grainy.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
5. Pour chocolate into prepared pan in an even layer. Chill until set.
6. Cut into cubes before serving.