Dive into summer Hot food, cold drinks
Inside: Barbecue for all Spirits to share The craft beer ďŹ eld guide New brew preview Spring 2019
In this Issue Fired Up Bring authentic barbecue ﬂavor to your backyard
Around the States in Seven Sauces An edible tour of America’s regional barbecue styles
Craft Beer: a ﬁeld guide
What’s New in Brews Local craft beers to try this summer
Party by the Pitcher-full Big-batch drinks for thirsty crowds
Drink & Dine New England is a special advertising publication of The Berkshire Eagle and the Brattleboro Reformer. For information on advertising in future issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Drew Beamer/UnSplash
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Photo: Danny Gallegos/UnSplash
Say hello to summer with a good old-fashioned barbecue By Kimberly Kirchner No one appreciates a warm summer day like a New Englander. After long months of tromping through snow, then slush, then mud, a bit of sunshine and a pleasant breeze seem practically miraculous. As soon as the weather turns, grills across the region emerge from their winter hideaways in garages and under tarps to celebrate the season with an American tradition: the family barbecue. Barbecue has existed in the New World since long before there was anything “New” about it. Natives in what we now call the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. cooked meat at low temperatures over many hours, using green wood as a slow-burning fuel source that produced more smoke than flame. Spanish explorers dubbed the technique “barbacoa,” and carried it with them as they expanded northward. American barbecue tradition first took shape in Carolinas and surrounding colonies, where the heavily wooded terrain made raising livestock difficult. Settlers got much of their meat from pigs, which could be let loose in the woods to fend for themselves until they were large enough to catch and eat. Pigs raised this way cost nothing to feed and house. Unfortunately, they also turned out leaner and tougher than farm-raised pigs, requiring some careful cooking to make the meat tender enough to eat. Slow-cooking turned gamey feral hog into something more palatable. Sweet and spicy sauces provided much-needed flavor, though each area developed its own distinct mixes based on the settlers’ heritage. British settlers in North Carolina, for example, favored a vinegar-based sauce, while French and German immigrants in South Carolina used mustard in accordance Spring 2019
with their homelands’ culinary traditions. These regional distinctions are still evident today in the vastly different definitions of “barbecue” from state to state.
The grill The purist will tell you there is only one way to barbecue: with a smoker. True, smokers are designed specifically for “low and slow” cooking, and are the best option for consistently tender, smoky barbecue. If you’re devoted to barbecue tradition--or just an enthusiastic rib fan--small smokers are readily available in a variety of price ranges. If a smoker isn’t an option, however, it’s possible to slow-cook a solid bit of barbecue using a traditional gas or charcoal grill and a little extra care. Slow smoking is generally easier on a charcoal grill than a gas grill. Grill manufacturer Weber recommends adding charcoal to just one side of the grill in order to create an indirect cooking surface. Place a large, disposable aluminum pan next to the charcoal and fill it with water. This will create steam during cooking, circulating heat through the grill to regulate the temperature. It will also provide extra moisture to prevent the meat from drying out over the long cooking time. To get the desired smoky flavor, Weber suggests adding damp wood chips (the kind made specifically for cooking, please) on top of the coals just before adding the meat, which is placed on the cool side directly over the water pan. Once the lid goes back on the grill, it should come off only to add new charcoal. The top vent should be open to prevent sooty buildup inside the grill, and the bottom vents used for regulating the temperature. Barbecuing on a gas grill is more difficult, but not impossiDrink & Dine New England • 3
ble. For best results, Char-Broil, another major grill manufacturer, recommends purchasing a grill with at least three burners. This gives more control over temperature. Some gas grills come equipped with a built-in smoke box, but they can also be purchased separately or made by putting wet wood chips in an aluminum pan, covering with foil and poking holes in the lid for the smoke to escape. The box is cooked alone, on high heat, until it starts to smoke, at which point the temperature can be adjusted to the desired levels and the meat placed to the side of the active burner.
The meat When choosing meat for a barbecue, pay special attention 4 • Drink & Dine New England
to the fat content. During the cooking process, fat melts slowly and makes the surrounding tissue flavorful and tender. If the cut is too lean, the meat will come out tough and dry. Consistent thickness is also important for even cooking. Pork is the traditional choice. In some parts of the country, if it’s not from a pig, it can’t be called barbecue. Ribs are a classic, but pork shoulder also barbecues well thanks to a substantial fat content. Beef brisket, with its thick layer of fat, is an excellent option for barbecue-style cooking. Prime rib is also a candidate, though it’s more difficult--and expensive--to prepare than its pork counterpart. When barbecuing poultry, whole birds or quarters are the Spring 2019
best bet. Chicken and turkey absorb flavor well, but need to be supervised closely as different parts of the bird cook at different speeds. Soaking the meat in brine before cooking can keep it moist. Fattier fish, especially salmon, are the best option when it comes to seafood, though they need to be watched carefully to prevent a rubbery texture.
The sauce The definition of “barbecue sauce” can vary wildly from state to state, and even city to city. What we uninitiated Northerners call “barbecue,” the thick and sweet concoction found on grocery store shelves, is far from the only option. Carolina barbecue sauces Spring 2019
come in three distinct varieties. In North Carolina, a thin, tangy, vinegar-based sauce is prepared with ketchup in the west, and kept tomato-free to the east. South Carolina is home to a much more intense blend of vinegar, spices and mustard. In Texas, where beef is the preferred barbecue canvas, the regional “sauce” is actually a basting liquid based on beef stock or drippings with vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and spices for flavor. Kansas City, Missouri, is home to a sweet sauce made with ketchup and molasses, the ancestor of today’s mass-produced barbecue sauce. Authentic Kansas City sauce tends to be tangier and less overwhelmingly sugary than it factory-produced descendants. Drink & Dine New England • 5
Alabama stands out with its mayonnaise-based white sauce, which is flavored with vinegar, lemon juice and pepper, and best suited for chicken. Whichever sauce you go with, timing is crucial for optimum taste and texture. The sugar in sweet sauces can easily burn if allowed to cook for too long at too high a temperature. Weber recommends waiting until the final 20-30 minutes of cooking to apply sauce on ribs slow-cooked over indirect heat; if cooking on direct heat or at higher temperatures, hold off even longer.
The sides No matter how well the meat is barbecued, one dish does not a cookout make. Pair your smoked centerpiece with sides that balance and complement the barbecue flavor. Coleslaw and deli salads (pasta, potato or bean) are classics for a reason--
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they’re cold, satisfying and easy to make ahead in party-sized batches. Cornbread is another staple that stands up well in the heat and pairs perfectly with a tangy sauce. Barbecues tend to be heavy on the protein, so adding some plant-based options can help lighten up the meal. Side salads are quick and refreshing. Stick to pre-tossed rather than a buffet-style salad bar to cut down on waste. Take advantage of the grill to cook up some summer veggies, as well. Corn on the cob is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, but eggplant, peppers, zucchini and sweet potatoes all look good with some char marks. Above all, cook what you like. Pit-masters and gastronomists may bicker amongst themselves about what is and is not true American barbecue, but what really matters is sharing good food with good company.
For the herbivores Barbecues are often considered the domain of meat eaters, but there’s no reason the vegans and vegetarians among us can’t enjoy some sweet and smoky ﬂavor off the grill. Most barbecue sauces are vegan (though some varieties may contain honey, which could be an issue depending on your personal deﬁnition of an animal product) so the big challenge is ﬁnding non-meat foods that can hold up under such a thick, bold condiment. Soy-based meat replacements like tofu and tempeh usually
work well with barbecue sauce, though they tend to cook better in the oven than on the grill. Black bean and chickpea patties having grilling potential as long as they aren’t too crumbly. Eggplant, cauliﬂower and portobello mushrooms all fare well on a hot grill and have enough body not to be overwhelmed by the barbecue sauce. You can also take advantage of a low-temperature grill setup by loading marinated veggies into a foil packet and letting them slow-cook alongside the meat.
Around the States in Seven Sauces A regional tour of American barbecue
Carolina Mustard Sauce
Alabama White Sauce
• 3/4 cup yellow mustard (the plain kind, not honey or Dijon)
• 3/4 cup mayonnaise*
East Carolina BBQ Sauce
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 cup white vinegar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup apple juice
• 1 cup cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp brown sugar
• 2 tbsp ketchup
• 1 tbsp cream-style horseradish
• 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
• 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tbsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp hot sauce
• 1 tbsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp mustard powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp hot sauce
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar or bottle with lid. Seal tightly and store in refrigerator for up to two days to allow flavors to fully mix. Keep refrigerated up to two months, shaking occasionally to prevent excess separation.
• Pinch of cayenne, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until mixed. Allow to rest in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. *If the amount of mayo scares you, swap out up to half the amount (3/8 cup) for plain Greek yogurt.
Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Cook on low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Let cool. Pour into jar, seal, and keep in refrigerator for at least one day before using. Keeps up to two months in refrigerator.
• 1/3 cup cider vinegar
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Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
Texas-style Mop Sauce
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 cup yellow onion, ﬁnely chopped • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 2 cups ketchup • 1/3 cup molasses • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar • 1/3 cup cider vinegar • 2 tbsp yellow mustard • 1 tbsp chili powder • 1 tsp ground black pepper • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
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Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Bring mix to a boil, then reduce heat and allow sauce to simmer, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken, about 30 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour into blender and blend until smooth. Let sauce continue cooling until it reaches room temperature before transferring to an airtight jar. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.
• 1/4 cup onion, minced • 3 stalks celery, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 cup water • 1 tsp (1 cube) beef bouillon • 1 cup ketchup • 1/2 cup cider vinegar • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce • 2 tbsp spicy mustard • 2 tbsp honey • 1 tbsp paprika • 2 tsp chili powder
Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir no more than 15 seconds, then immediately add water and bouillon cube. Stir until bouillon is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool, then pour mix into blender and blend until smooth. Sauce will be thinner than typical bottled barbecue sauce. Use immediately or refrigerate in airtight container for up to one week.
• Salt and pepper, to taste
Kentucky Black Vinegar Dip
Florida Citrus Barbecue Sauce
Californian Santa Maria-style Salsa
• 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 2 cup ketchup
• 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1/3 cup vinegar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
• 1/2 cup celery, ﬁnely chopped
• 1 tbsp ground black pepper
• 1 tsp lemon zest, grated
• 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tsp orange zest, grated
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 cup green chilies, ﬁnely chopped
• 1 tbsp salt
• 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
• 2 tbsp cilantro, snipped
• 1/2 tsp allspice
• 3 tbsp molasses
• 1 tsp vinegar
• 1/2 tsp onion salt
• 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• Dash of Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 tsp garlic salt
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• Pinch of garlic salt
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• Pinch of dried oregano, crushed
• 4 cups water
• 1/2 tsp ground black pepper Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk until mixed. Gradually bring sauce to a simmer and allow to cook until thick, about 10 minutes. Transfer to jar and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Keep refrigerated up to 1 week.
• Dash of hot sauce, to taste Combine all ingredients in a large bow. Cover and allow to stand for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve on the side, preferably with a traditional Santa Maria dry-rubbed tri-tip steak.
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What’s New in Brews Hot days are the perfect excuse to crack open an artfully-crafted brew from one of the region’s many small breweries. Here are five New England-made craft beers to try this summer.
Whetstoner IPA- Whetstone Craft Beers Whetstone Craft Beers’ flagship IPA is a bright and delicious session beer featuring Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra hops. Crisp, hazy, big on aroma, and full of flavor, it contains just 4.5% a.b.v., making it a perfect thirst-quencher. Whetstoner is only sold in-house on draft, but you can take home a 32 oz. crowler anytime. Get it at: Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, 36 Bridge St., Brattleboro, Vt. 802-490-2354 | whetstonestation.com
Windham Flora Wild Ale- Hermit Thrush Brewery The very first coolship beer from the sour beer masters at Hermit Thrush Brewery, Windham Flora is made by pouring hot wort into large, flat vessels, then leaving it open overnight to inoculate with microbes in the air. The resulting spontaneously fermented golden ale is aged in Marsala and Chianti casks, and should be available for purchase this spring. Get it at: Hermit Thrush Brewery 29 High St., Suite 101C, Brattleboro, Vt. 802-257-2337 | hermitthrushbrewery.com
Photo courtesy of Whetstone Craft Beers Spring 2019
Gose- Bright Ideas Brewing Company This supremely refreshing gose (a top-fermented sour wheat beer) is made with mango, pink guava, and sea salt. Bright Ideas Brewing introduced the Guava Mangose at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last fall and plans to release it in cans this May. It will be
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available on tap, along with nine other styles, at the Bright Ideas brewery and taproom on the MASS MoCA campus, which also offers crowlers to go. Get it at: Bright Ideas Brewing Company 111 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass. 413-346-4460 | brightideasbrewing.com
Hop Brook New England IPA IPA- Barrington Brewery Barrington Brewery’s bright and juicy New England IPA, made with Citra and Amarillo hops, is a medium-bodied brew with a hazy golden appearance and tropical citrus aroma. Brewed using solar electric and solar hot-water, all of Barrington Brewery’s beers boast a low ecological impact. Get it at: Barrington Brewery & Restaurant 420 Stockbridge Road, Unit 4, Great Barrington, Mass. 413-528-8282 | barringtonbrewery.net
Pepper Stout Stout- J’Ville Brewery J’Ville Brewery adds an extra punch to a complex stout with Urfa Biber, a Turkish pepper with notes of smoke, tobacco and chocolate. Be on the lookout for a new Honey Hefeweizen, originally created for head brewer Janice Stuart’s wedding last year, which will be officially unveiled at a special event this Memorial Day. Get it at: J’Ville Brewery 201 Vermont Rte. 112, Jacksonville, Vt. 802-368-2226 | jvillebrewery.com
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Photo: Cicely M. Eastman
Updates: Construction continues at Whetstone Brewery’s new facility on Bridge Street in Brattleboro, Vt., which is expected to open this summer. The brewery itself will open ﬁrst, allowing the company to expand its manufacturing capabilities. An accompanying tasting room will be part of the next phase of construction, starting this fall. In the meantime, the new brewery will host live music, games and the Whetstone food truck on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. throughout the summer.
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Parties by the Pitcher-full Why host a party if you spend the whole night behind the bar? These big-batch cocktails are a refreshing improvement on that bowl of vodka and fruit punch.
Pink Vodka Shandy • 1 can (12 oz.) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
• 1 lemon, sliced
• 3 12-oz. bottles pale beer (ale or lager), chilled
Combine concentrate, beer and vodka in large punch bowl. Mix well. Add ice and stir. Garnish with lemon slices.
• 3/4 cup vodka, chilled
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• 2 cups ice
Ginger-Lime Rum Punch • 2/3 cup water • 1/2 cup sugar • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice • 2 cups dark rum • 2 cups ice • Lime slices for garnish
Combine water, sugar and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain syrup into serving bowl or pitcher. Press firmly on the ginger pieces to release any additional liquid. Add the lime juice, rum and ice. Stir until syrup is fully mixed. Serve over ice, garnished with a slice of lime.
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Watermelon Mojitos • 1/2 cup water • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 20 fresh mint leaves • 4 cups watermelon, cubed • 1 cup white rum • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice • Watermelon, lime and mint for garnish
Mix water, sugar and mint leaves in small saucepan. Boil until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to chill. In a blender or food processor, puree watermelon until smooth. Pour through a sieve to remove seeds. Chill. Combine rum, lime juice, watermelon puree and syrup in large pitcher. Garnish with fruit slices and mint leaves. Serve over ice.
Sweet Rosé Punch • 2 cups blueberries • 2 cups strawberries, hulled • 2 cups blackberries • 2 cups raspberries • 1 tbsp superﬁne sugar*
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• 1 bottle rosé wine, chilled • 5 oz. raspberry liqueur • 1-1/2 cups white cranberry juice Combine fruit, sugar and raspberry liqueur in a
large pitcher. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour to absorb the sugar. Pour in wine and juice and stir gently. Serve chilled. *If you don’t have any superfine sugar on hand, you can pour some plain white sugar in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds.
Spiced Orange Punch • 1 quart orange sherbet • 2 liters lemon-lime soda • 12 oz. ginger ale • 6 oz. orange juice • 6 oz. cranberry juice • 1 cup whiskey
Add juice, soda and whiskey to large punch bowl. Scoop sherbet into punch, allowing scoops to float. Let sit for a few minutes before serving for sherbet to soften. Garnish with fruit slices, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
• 1/2 each lemon, lime and orange, sliced • 3 cinnamon sticks • Dash pumpkin pie spice
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Jalapeno Margarita Bowl • 1 cucumber, sliced • 1 jalapeño, sliced • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro • 1/4 cup fresh mint • 1 bottle (750 ml) silver tequila • 2 cups fresh lime juice • 1 cup agave nectar • 1/2 cup orange juice
Muddle cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro and mint in a large punch bowl. Stir in tequila, juices and agave, mixing well. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Pour mix through a sieve to filter out solids. Return liquid to punch bowl and add ice and lime slices. Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses.
• 1 lime, sliced • Salt, for serving
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