Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops
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Review: Port Brewing’s Hot Rocks Lager

Hot Rocks Lager

Brewed using the (almost) ancient method of heating the wort by dropping “hot rocks” (black granite) straight into the kettle. Pours a deep brown, almost opaque with a decent, though quickly dissipating head. Smells slightly of alcohol, no hop aroma. Mouthfeel and flavor are more ale-like than lager-like. Big, smooth round flavor of malt and toasted grains, with a bitter finish. A little yeasty … and the reason revealed with I poured the last bit into my glass and a slurry of yeast poured out.I have the feeling I’m drinking an English Porter. My only complaint was the alcohol taste was a little too present – surprising for a beer with just 6.5%. Overall, quite good. I do recommend!

Pasta – a little differently

I was trying to figure out something to cook a few nights ago – opened the fridge/freezer, took a quick inventory, noticed the large amount of whole wheat spaghetti on hand and decided to make pasta. I didn’t want a tomato sauce, and I was tired of the tarragon cream sauce I often made, so I decided to experiment.

After consulting my trusted cream sauce recipe and browsing stew recipes in various Italian cookbooks I have, I ventured out on my own and created the following recipe. It turned out fabulous, and my wife requested it again – the next day! Here’s the recipe:

Pasta – A Little Differently

Ingredients

1.5 pounds freshly ground pork
1 pound of whole wheat spaghetti pasta
3 large Carrots, sliced
3 sticks of Celery, sliced
1/2 tsp. + 1 tsp. dried Thyme
1 tsp. dried Marjoram
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp. Sugar
4 Tbsp. Flour
3 Tbsp. unsalted Butter
2 cups Chicken stock
4 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

1. Mix the 1/2 tsp. Thyme, the Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg into the ground Pork.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and put in the seasoned pork. Break the pork into smallish chunks as it cooks and brown it to a nice golden brown.
3. Add the flour. Stir in completely and let meat cook for 1 minute more.
4. Add carrots and celery. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Start cooking pasta in a large pot according to directions on package.
6. Add chicken stock and stir until it has formed a sauce and has thickened. If sauce is not thick enough, use a sifter to add a little more flour.
7. Add hot pepper flakes, sugar, marjoram, and remaining 1 tsp. of thyme and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until carrots are just tender.
8. Add cream, stir in, bring just back to a simmer and serve over pasta.