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Beer for braising pork belly

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DougOLis Jun 18, 2008 06:29 PM

I have some pork belly that I want to braise and normally that's done in either chicken stock or white wine, but I was considering trying a beer instead. Any recommendations of a beer that might work or is this a bad idea? Would mead or cider (maybe calvados) work better than beer?

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  1. Josh RE: DougOLis Jun 19, 2008 10:14 AM

    Interesting idea. I'd probably try a nut brown ale or a porter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh
      Jim Dorsch RE: Josh Jun 19, 2008 11:59 PM

      Cider might be fun, too.

    2. tuqueboy RE: DougOLis Jun 23, 2008 10:51 PM

      a dunkel doppelbock would be good. a bit of sweetness goes nicely with pork. paulaner salvator's probably easiest to find.
      could also try aventinus, a wheat doppelbock by schneider. lots of clove flavours going on, which also could go nicely.

      1. purple goddess RE: DougOLis Jun 23, 2008 10:57 PM

        Where are you??

        If you can get your hands on some Australian "Beez Kneez" honey beer, I reckon that would work a treat!

        4 Replies
        1. re: purple goddess
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          DougOLis RE: purple goddess Jun 24, 2008 09:40 AM

          I'm in San Diego.

          I ended up braising them last night and I'll see how it turns out for dinner tonight. I was having a hard time deciding which one to do so I actually used 4 different types of beer in different pans. I used Alesmith Nut Brown, Mountain Meadows Sierra Nectar Wildflower Mead, Maui Brewing CoCoNut Porter, and Strongbow Cider. We'll see which one turned out best tonight.

          1. re: DougOLis
            Josh RE: DougOLis Jun 24, 2008 10:13 AM

            Sounds awesome. Look forward to finding this out.

            1. re: DougOLis
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              chrisandbetsyc RE: DougOLis Jun 24, 2008 07:29 PM

              i would say it makes little difference unless you use the braising liquid in some way afterwards. i'm a chef at a brew pub and use beer as a braising liquid often. as long as you stay away from hoppy beers (hops are great in beer but pretty well suck in all other food), the subtle differences in beer don't seem to come out in the meat. my advice, don't spend a lot of money on your braising liquid.

              1. re: chrisandbetsyc
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                DougOLis RE: chrisandbetsyc Jun 26, 2008 10:20 PM

                You were quite right. There really were not a lot of differences between the 4 meats. I feel like you can alter the taste more by using a different cure before the braising. I made some sauces for each of them with their drippings and the remaining liquid, and in that you could taste the different beers but even that wasn't hugely pronounced. The Nut Brown and Porter sauces tasted quite similar.

          2. honkman RE: DougOLis Jun 24, 2008 09:06 PM

            I recently braised beef twice with beer. The one with Chimay was really good, the one made with Guiness was not bad but I didn't like the bitter aftertaste. I think Chimay would also work for pork belly.

            1. The Professor RE: DougOLis Jul 7, 2008 05:15 PM

              I think that you would want something balanced more on the malty side of things rather than the hoppy side. Salvator or Optimator would certainly be good choices, even if they would be overkill.

              Now, don't laugh at me... but you would probably do just as well with a 40 of Steel Reserve or Haffenreffer...perhaps with a just a few ounces of Guinness added for its "roasty" character. I have braised pork shoulder in these stron, malty cheapies (with a generous dose of Noble Rose paprika, and freshly ground black pepper) and the results were incredible.

              1. franksnbeans RE: DougOLis Jul 8, 2008 06:43 AM

                Just did this last weekend with Yuengling Black & Tan, simply because I had it on hand. Turned out deeelicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: franksnbeans
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                  Ralphus RE: franksnbeans Jul 9, 2008 02:55 PM

                  I've braised beef with Yuengling B&T and it turns out great. My favorite (and my wife's as well) is pork roast with dried cherries and cranberries braised in Dogfish Head Raison d'Etre.

                2. Stevie Casino RE: DougOLis Jul 12, 2008 09:55 AM

                  I'm a big fan of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier; it's a German bock brewed with beechwood smoked malt. On it's own it has a bacony, smoky, malty taste. If you use it in a sauce afterwards it's awesome. They also make a few other varieties, all of which have different levels of smoke and malt intensity.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Stevie Casino
                    TongoRad RE: Stevie Casino Jul 12, 2008 10:25 AM

                    What an absolutely brilliant sounding idea- why didn't I think of that? I'm gonna try it one day (if I could just resist the urge to drink up every last drop...). Thanks for the suggestion.

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