One of my favorite things to do is cook! Something that I’ve been exploring more and more during my “stay-at-home” COVID days has been cooking with some of my favorite beers. Of course, there’s always a mix of random beers in my fridge, most of them being funky sour beers I didn’t think would relate well to food, but you never know—I may get wild one day and give them a shot!
Here at Dual Citizen, we’ve started producing some of our best beers in 12-ounce cans and packaging them into 6-packs for local liquor stores. Bradley, our head brewer, really honed these recipes and perfected them before we took the bold move into canning. One of these beers is Caress Me, Brown—an American brown ale that is described as being mahogany in color with aromas of toffee, burnt sugar and slight chocolate. Sitting at a cool 5.4% ABV, this beer quickly skyrocketed into being a seasonal stunner for Dual Citizen. No surprise, it has become my go-to beer after a day of visiting my liquor store pals.
Let’s bring it full circle. I’m sitting at home wondering what would be a good Sunday afternoon meal that would warm up my senses and be something different. I look through the fridge and my eyes land on a can of Caress Me, Brown hiding behind a crowler of our Black Is Beautiful beer. Brown ales have a nutty and malty character to them, and this beer has never let me down. I peek into my pantry and see Arborio rice. Well, that’s a no-brainer—I love risotto and, if I can float my own boat for a second, I’m actually *really* good at making it. So, let’s do this: Caress Me, Brown ale and mushroom risotto. I wanted to crack a Caress Me, Brown and enjoy it while making this meal but I was so dang excited I didn’t want to miss out on packing its flavor into the risotto, so I opted for a crowler of Wringside Dopplebock from my friends over at Back Channel Brewing. Here we go—grab a 6-pack of our brown ale from one of our awesome liquor retailers and let’s make risotto!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 12oz can of Caress Me, Brown from Dual Citizen Brewing Co.
- 4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken work equally well)
- ¼ to ½ cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- ½ sweet yellow onion diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (I used cremini and shitake)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chop ‘em up good!
WHAT YOU DO:
- You’ll need a pot to simmer your stock and beer together the entire time. The key to a good risotto is adding your liquid in hot so it doesn’t slow down the rice cooking. So, get that started. Feel free to add a little extra beer, I always do.
- In a second pan (I used a 10-inch cast iron) melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, add onions and garlic and simmer until your onions are translucent. Add the rice all at once and stir to cover rice in the butter mixture.
- Add one cup of the simmering stock/beer and stir to incorporate into the rice. This process will be time-consuming and if you want good risotto, crack a beer and just enjoy yourself! Once that cup of liquid is absorbed into the rice add another one and stir. Keep doing this until the rice is super creamy, slightly al dente and the rice still holds its shape. For me, this took about 25 minutes. I also use this time to season with salt and pepper to taste as I go.
- Once your rice is about done, grab another small skillet and melt your last tablespoon of butter, add the mushrooms and lightly sauté them, adding salt and pepper.
- When all the liquid in your rice has been absorbed, turn off the heat. Add mushrooms, parmesan and the heavy cream and stir until it’s all incorporated into a creamy texture. Add more salt and pepper if needed. I also add a little bit of fresh lemon zest to my risotto once it’s plated for a light acidic layer.
YOU’VE JUST MADE BEER AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO! Good work! This will make a decent amount of risotto, which is nice because it heats up well and I usually bring leftovers to work the next day. This can be a meal on its own or you can add a side of meat as well. Some side options I think would pair nicely: Braised chicken thighs with your favorite spices, slow cooker beef roast, asparagus, or grilled veggies! Whatever you do, don’t forget the beer to cook with and to drink while cooking! CHEERS!