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porter ale

c
ceeceee Sep 28, 2006 04:41 PM

i have a recipe calling for a "porter ale" -- im having trouble trying to figure out what to use! the author uses "Vermont porter that's not too strong or bitter (and not to use stout), smooth and robust, and to look for an ale with "some body and a smoky taste".
any ideas of something i can find in my local supermarket?

  1. Josh Oct 13, 2006 03:01 AM

    It does my heart good to see people singing the praises of real beer.

    1. JoanN Oct 12, 2006 03:03 PM

      I, too, am coming back to thank you (I think) for the recommendations for the braised short rib recipe. I used the Samuel Smith Taddy Porter and it was just perfect. The problem is, I just *loved* the porter. Never had it before. And at $3.99 a bottle here in New York City, this could be an expensive discovery.

      1. c
        ceeceee Oct 8, 2006 04:09 PM

        i used the anchor porter in the recipe and it came out wonderfully!
        thanks for your help!

        1. a
          ali patts Sep 28, 2006 06:17 PM

          Old ale, new ale and mild ale left to mature in vats. Now, over here (UK) a dark ale/bitter that is not a stout (darkened barley) as I understand it. Don't know what to suggest as I could go to my supermarket and buy porter, some of which is very good. As I understand it, it was named for the guys who used to work in the markets as porters. Not much help, but trivia nevertheless!

          2 Replies
          1. re: ali patts
            j
            julesrules Oct 6, 2006 01:42 PM

            So now I have my Fuller's, two large bottles which is more than I need for the recipe. Looking forward to drinking it, but what is the ideal temperature for a porter?

            I am guessing not fridge-cold since it's English beer.

            1. re: julesrules
              TongoRad Oct 6, 2006 02:06 PM

              Ideal? Precisely 52.75F, nothing more nothing less.

              Just joking, obviously. Anything between 50 and 55 should be just dandy, but don't sweat the details. You just don't want to serve it overchilled. If you are pulling it from your fridge to warm up a bit on the counter don't open it until you are ready to pour- the bouquet will open up a lot better that way (rather than pouring it and letting it warm up in the glass.)

          2. b
            ben61820 Sep 28, 2006 05:17 PM

            beware of sam smith's taddy porter. i would say that it is one of the MOST ROBUST, strongest tasting beers around. dont get me wrong, i love the stuff, but if someone wants something thats not too hardcore i would be wary of recommending this one. but i guess if you're cooking with it some of that taste may be diluted anyway, eh...

            13 Replies
            1. re: ben61820
              c
              ceeceee Sep 28, 2006 05:27 PM

              thanks for your suggestions!

              1. re: ben61820
                Pat Hammond Sep 28, 2006 05:28 PM

                I bought a 4-pack of Taddy porter this summer, had one bottle, and thought "man, I can't drink this stuff". About a week later, I decided to try another bottle, just as an experiment, you understand. Long story, short, I have another 4 pack in the fridge. It grows on you!

                1. re: ben61820
                  Josh Sep 28, 2006 05:57 PM

                  Well, for one thing, the recipe calls for robust. For another, Sam Smith's is pretty much a textbook example of porter. Porter is a robust-tasting beer because it's made with dark-roasted malt.

                  Sam Adams Black Lager is a passable schwarzbier, but I don't think it's a good substitute for porter. It's kind of wimpy in the roasted flavor dept, IMHO.

                  1. re: Josh
                    TongoRad Sep 28, 2006 06:09 PM

                    I'd like to see the recipe, actually. We don't know if we're talking about a stew or a cake, and that could have some bearing on what is used. For now I'll stand by the SA suggestion as a 'second best' just because the suggestion of using something robust was tempered with the warning not to use a stout. My interpretation is that the roasted malt bitterness is what is to be avoided.

                    1. re: TongoRad
                      Chris VR Sep 29, 2006 01:40 PM

                      Here's the recipe

                      http://www.marga.org/food/blog/archiv...

                      1. re: Chris VR
                        Josh Sep 29, 2006 02:46 PM

                        If I was making that recipe, I'd use Samuel Smith's or Fuller's no question. With all those other strong flavors and that kind of cooking time especially.

                        1. re: Josh
                          TongoRad Sep 29, 2006 03:51 PM

                          Or Anchor (back to where we started, eh?)- Good fruity qualities on all three and a buttery (diacetyl) undertone that would go quite nicely. The sauce is being reduced so bitterness is definitely an issue, although I don't think that makes a stout totally out of the question. An oatmeal stout would go quite nicely as well- it really depends on what is available.

                          FWIW- I would definitely avoid Sierra Nevada and Otter Creek's Porters for this recipe. To drink- that's another story...

                        2. re: Chris VR
                          e
                          erikka Sep 29, 2006 04:39 PM

                          Wow, that's interesting. I wonder, aside from beercan chicken, if there's other beer-y recipes out there.

                          1. re: erikka
                            Josh Sep 29, 2006 06:15 PM

                            Carbonnade Flamande!

                            1. re: erikka
                              j
                              julesrules Sep 29, 2006 06:29 PM

                              Oh there definitely is. Welsh rarebit comes to mind (though I've never had it). In Toronto we have a beer-focussed restaurant with many of their recipes featuring different beers. There's also guiness cake - chocolate and ginger types I believe.
                              I don't have luck trying to improvise with beer though, always reduces down to essence of bitter.

                              1. re: julesrules
                                e
                                erikka Sep 29, 2006 10:16 PM

                                Guiness cake sounds amazing. I've had guinness ice cream. Actually--Ben & Jerry's just put out a black & tan flavored ice cream. It's in the freezer but I haven't cracked it open yet.

                              2. re: erikka
                                The Chowhound Team Sep 29, 2006 11:11 PM

                                Sounds like we're getting back to Home Cooking territory. We suggest you post there to ask for beer-y recipes. We're sure the hounds on that board will have suggestions!

                                1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                  e
                                  erikka Oct 2, 2006 12:42 PM

                                  I'm not, but THANKS ANYWAY.

                      2. TongoRad Sep 28, 2006 05:13 PM

                        The beers that Josh listed are all damn fine beers and should all fit the bill. I just thought I'd offer up some practical advice and suggest that if your local supermarket doesn't carry any of those and you don't feel like going out of your way- chances are that you will be able to find Samuel Adams Black Lager, which should make an acceptable substitute although it is not a Porter.

                        1. Josh Sep 28, 2006 04:57 PM

                          Any of these will work:

                          Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter
                          Anchor Porter
                          Stone Smoked Porter
                          Fuller's London Porter

                          You should be able to find at least one of those pretty easily.

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