Friday, November 27, 2015

Beered-up Cranberry Sauce

We have so many reasons to give thanks this year: family, friends, the local beer community, playing with our food, etc. We hope you have full bellies and happy memories from the annual feast.

I thought I would share a recipe that I made yesterday. I'm that girl who makes up things as she goes in the kitchen, rarely following a recipe. I was making some side dishes for the feast with the family, and Nathan has an intense love for cranberry sauce. It doesn't even have to accompany turkey. He just loves cranberry sauce. When we first met and started doing the holidays together, he was happy with the gel crap that comes in a can. After this, I don't know that he will ever look back at those dark, dim days. In fact, this recipe is about as easy as opening a can.

I used Zaftig's I Believe in Santa, a Christmas ale. It's a porter with orange and vanilla and just a hint of cinnamon. I thought it would go quite well with the orange in the sauce. Southern Tier's Choklat Oranj would also do well, if you can't get a hold of the Zaftig (which is available only on draft currently). I have also used a raspberry ale in the past, but I prefer the notes that this porter lent to the sauce.

Beered-up Cranberry Sauce
12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup local honey
2 fresh mandarin oranges
1 cup Zaftig I Believe in Santa Christmas Ale

Rinse the cranberries and place in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add in the honey and beer. Zest the oranges into the pan, then halve and squeeze them to juice them. Stir to combine. Simmer until the cranberries pop and it turns into a sauce-like consistency, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

I think this would be a fantastic, festive addition to a wheel of baked Brie cheese. The tartness of the sauce would go fantastically with the creaminess of the Brie. It just may appear on my tailgate table tomorrow.