This week I am excited to team up with my friend Melissa, AKA Melba from Drunk & Unemployed (DnU). She’s a local beer and spirits blogger and I like to cook with said beer and spirits so it was written in the stars or rather, in this case, it was fermenting in the brite tanks. There are only a handful of chicks on the island that write about beer. She is ridiculously knowledgeable about beer and never gives herself enough credit for it. She has taught me a whole lot, has embraced me as part of the community and has always supported me. For this I am so appreciative and give her all my support right back. So please stop by her blog, say hey and read about some beer and spirits!
What NY Foodgasm says:I asked Ms. Melba to be part of beer month, but the timing wasn’t right. I really wanted to see what she thought up, so I am featuring this recipe outside of beer month. When she made up this amazing Sweet and Spicy Russian Imperial Kick Ass Sauce, I was blown away! Bitch got in the kitchen, made this amazing food and my part was just to take some pretty pictures to make your mouth water. I am a little jealous she thought of this all herself because, it‘s basically one of the BEST BBQ sauces I ever had on meat! I attest this to the fact it has some crazy awesome Russian Imperial Stout, namely Famous Last words brewed by the talented Steve Pominski, brewer/owner of Barrage Brewing Company.
If you have never experienced Russian Imperial Stout, I would call it high-octane liquid beer candy! When a beer is called imperial that basically means a double dose of malt and hops and that, my friends, also means more alcohol! More sugars from dark malts means more alcohol and a sweeter flavor. You got lots of caramel and toffee notes when you sip in this bad boy, then it has a wonderfully chocolaty finish.
Now imagine this magic in a Barbeque sauce. It takes a plain Jane BBQ sauce on the express train to flava town! Wooot Woooot! All aboard! This intensely sweet and spicy sauce not only packs in this killer beer, it also boasts Srirancha….
Sriracha, why don’t ‘cha… why the hell not?! I think Melba knows of my affinity for all things sweet and spicy! This sauce is just right in spicy where someone that is not a fan of all things spicy will not hate it, but your spice loving friends will notice the subtle and enjoy. A great flavor balance for a crowd of hungry meat lovers!
If you are concerned about calories or fat use a lean cut of steak. In this case we used venison and it was tender juicy and lean! This barbeque sauce can go on just about anything, you can even try it on some chicken kabobs, hell I would even lick it off my fingers!
What Melba says:
I was originally approached by NY Foodgasm to create a recipe for their April beer month. Alas, this I was a too late and the recipe was never published. Sophia kindly reached out to me again, but this time requesting to re-create the recipe at the NY Foodgasm home base. I was happy to oblige. In the original recipe, I had used skirt steaks. I was about to purchase more, when a mutual friend (hi Carol!) suggested deer and pulled 3 packages of beautiful venison steaks out from her freezer. The deer was killed in Upstate NY on a hunting trip and was field-dressed by Carol herself. Earthy venison paired with a flavor-forward stout, it was a fantastic suggestion. And ever since Barrage Brewing’s “Famous Last Words” Russian Imperial Stout was poured at the 2014 LI Nano-Cask Festival, I have wanted to use this beer in a dish and here was my chance.
Venison is very lean, and can easily get dry and tough, so the first thing I did was marinate the meat in the stout overnight. This not only tenderized the meat but it toned down the “gamey” taste you find in some venison (and grass fed beef). By doing the marinade, it also kept the venison moist through the entire cooking process. No dried out piece of grizzle here! The preverbal cherry on top was the BBQ sauce, which was quick and easy to create. The sauce was slathered on top of the venison toward the end of the grilling process. It was heavenly. In the end, you had three very strong flavors that melded perfectly together on the plate. The earthiness of the venison, the coffee/chocolate of the stout and the sweet and spicy of the BBQ sauce. Everything was flavor forward, but in balance.
Using stouts in BBQ sauce is nothing new, there are plenty of recipes to choose from, but the combination of beer marinating, using a Russian Imperial Stout, Sriracha, and using a non-traditional cut of meat like venison takes this recipe to a whole different level and out of your comfort zone. If you do decide to take it on, a word of warning, this Foodgasm is not for timid taste buds!
What you need
3 large ¾ inch venison steaks (you can substitute with beef)
- 16oz of Russian Imperial Stout
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Container or plastic food bag
Place all ingredients in a container or plastic food bag. The stout should cover all the meat. If you need to add more stout, do so, and marinate overnight. This marinade covered 3 large ¾ inch venison steaks.
The Spicy Stout BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 cups ketchup
- 2 tablespoon honey or molasses
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon Sriracha or preferred hot sauce (Go for 1 Tsp for less heat)
- 12 oz of Barrage Brewing Famous Last Words Stout
Whisk all ingredients together in a pot with the heat on medium. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and it will begin to thicken as it cools down. Pour into Mason jar or container of choice and place in refrigerator.