MAGIC HAT JINX


   Tonight was a hardy meal with a hardy beer. What more could you ask for on a 10º night, a nice juicy hunk of beef followed by a superior seasonal ale. I have been trying to come up with a meal that would accent the flavors of Magic Hat Jinx, but that’s not so easy to do, given the fact it is so full of flavor and so robust. You need a powerful meal to hold water against this ale, Jinx offers a sweet and toasty aroma of caramel, tea and smoke, the smoke attributed to the finish of peat-smoked whiskey malt. The warming alcohol notes are gorgeous on such a winter night, especially given that I came out of the cold and immediately went for a beer. All these characteristics lend themselves well to the piece of meat that I prepared for dinner. I had cooked up a roast beef for dinner tonight, succulent and juicy, just the right ratio of fat to meat. The hops in Jinx did quite well cutting through that fatty flavor and accented the beef and spices used to prepare it. I hadn’t had Jinx until a few weeks ago, I had many other Magic Hat brews, the more popular #9 and Circus boy are some real favorite brews of mine. Jinx though, is a fantastic strong ale, such a great balance of dark malt characters and hops. Well done MH! Be sure to read below for tips on preparation of the meal.

ROAST BEEF
    When I first thought of making roast beef, I knew the first thing was to find the right meat. Off I went to my favorite meat market located not far from my house, I asked a good friend of mine for her recommendation on what piece of meat she would use. I left with 2 lbs. of poast roast, pre-tied and ready to hit the crock pot. This morning, I put the meat in the pot, used about 12 ounces of water, some salt and pepper and I chopped a garlic clove for the broth also. Last, I doused the top of the meat with Worchestershire sauce, now if you cook beef, you can’t be without that sauce, it is a staple. I set the crock pot on low and off to work I went, that was about 7:30 am. As soon as I came home I checked the roast to see it’s progress, even tasted it, it needed more time. I actually got tied up and didn’t end up pulling it out until about 6:45 pm. Usually, 8 hours is enough, but I was pushing 12, that didn’t seem to affected the moisture content or flavor of the meat, crock pots are so forgiving. The only thing left to do is remove it from the crock pot and your ready to eat.
MASHED POTATOES
   Well, I certainly cheated here, I used boxed potatoes. I know, they’re not fresh. They are quick and I do like them, one thing I do different is substitute fat-free half-and-half for the milk. Just follow the directions on the package. If you’d like real smashed potatoes, check my posting for Brooklyn Black Ops Stout. 
PEAS
   Once again, I cheated here. There are a lot of very good packaged foods at the store, a lot of them are good and they will save you a ton of time. These are just canned peas, fresh from the field or something like that, overall they were great with the meal.
GRAVY
   This is the only other area, the meat is the first, that I didn’t cheat on. We all know how important the gravy is, this is not one area to cheat on. The first step to a good gravy is rue, which is butter and flour, which you will blend on a 1/1 ratio, my gravy consisted of a 1/4 cup of butter and a 1/4 cup of flour. To make rue, just melt the butter on low in a sauce pan, then stir in the flour, you then add the water/drippings from the roast beef, I used about a cup and a half. You can cut it back and use less, which will make your gravy thicker.
COOKING TIMES
   Roast Beef = 8-12 hours
   Instant Mashed Potatoes = 7-10 minutes
   Peas = 8-10 minutes in microwave
   Gravy = 5-8 minutes
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