Heard about word of mouth marketing?  Serve this easy to make cocktail meatball recipe at your next party and you’ll be the talk of the town.

Slow Cooked Sprecher Dopple Bock BBQ Meatballs

3 lbs Frozen cocktail meatballs (Italian style are best)*

1-2 bottles Sprecher Dopple Bock

1 cp Ketchup

1/2 cp Sprecher Root Beer BBQ Sauce (more if you want it spicier)

2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 cp Brown Sugar

Combine all sauce ingredients in a slow cooker.  Add meatballs, making sure to cover them in the sauce.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.  [If using a Dutch oven, set in middle of oven set to 250F. ] Midway through, check to see if you need to add more beer; adjust for flavor.  Makes about 96 cocktail size meatballs.

Yum!

* Note: This recipe is all about the sauce so the type of meatball (Italian, sausage, Swedish, homemade) doesn’t matter all that much.  You can also use larger meatballs and serve them over wide egg noodles for an enjoyable dinner.  If you find you have lots of sauce left serve it with bread, brisket, pork chops, chicken and many other foods.

Source: Sprecher brewmaster Craig Burge.

Photo: Matt Fornear, www.fornearphoto.com.

This recipe for superb pulled pork was created by Chef Nathan Berg of Native Bay Restaurant and Lounge in Chippewa Falls.  Many thanks to Lucy Saunders for including it in her terrific recipe book, The Best of American Beer & Food (2007, Brewers Publications).  Simply named Bock-Braised Pork Shoulder, we’ve rechristened it Grand Slam Pulled Pork Carnitas for baseball season.  Definitely, if you want to win friends and influence people during a pre-game tailgate, serve this recipe.  You can either serve it in pulled pork sandwiches or use our variation, Pulled Pork Carnitas.

Beer Pairing Suggestion: Sprecher Black Bavarian, Sprecher Mai Bock, or Sprecher Dopple Bock

Bock-Braised Pork Shoulder

1 cp flour4-5 pounds pork shoulder (about 3″ thick); note: can substitute pork butt

4 tablespoons grapeseed (or safflower oil)

1 lg yellow onion, halved and sliced thick

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped

4 cups pork or beef stock

36 ounces Sprecher Dopple Bock

10 black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon truffle oil

1. Preheat oven to 200F (unless using crock pot; see Note in step 2).  Place flour in a shallow pan or plate, and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Dredge both sides of shoulder roasts in seasoned flour, and shake to remove excess.

2. Heat oil in large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Sear all sides of the pork until brown and crispy.  Place the onion, carrots, and celery in the bottom of a deep casserole or Dutch oven, and place meat on top.  Add stock and beer until meat and vegetables are fully submerged, and add peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil (to prevent meat from drying out and burning) and place in oven.  Bake at least 6 hours.  Note: You can also use a slow cooker or crock pot set on low).

3. Remove pan from oven and remove lid, taking care not to let steam hit your face or hands.  Taste a small piece of pork and check its texture.  It should be falling straight off the bone or coming apart easily when pulled.  If the meat isn’t fully tender, return to pan or slow cooker for another 1 to 2 hours.

4. Remove meat from liquid, set it on a plate or in a shallow pan, and place it in the refrigerator to cool slightly.  In the meantime, strain cooking pan juices and place in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a roiling boil on the stovetop.  Reduce liquids by 70%, to about 2 cups.  When fully reduced, taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and sherry vinegar.

5. When cool enough to handle, pick through the pork to remove all bones and as much of the fat as possible.  To finish, combine pork and sauce in a large saucepan and heat until warmed throughout.  Stir in truffle oil just before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings

For Carnitas:

8-10 Flour Tortillas (if using large ones; more if using smaller tortillas)

Shredded Cheese

Favorite Salsa

Guacamole

1. Heat both sides of each tortilla in skillet.  Tortillas are ready when they begin to puff.

2. Remove from skillet and set aside or in warming oven.

3. Place tortilla on plate, add some cheese, then pork, then cheese.  Roll up and serve as is or with salsa and guacamole.

Sprecher Brewings and Doings

30th October 2009

The weekend is fast approaching, so we must cheer: High School playoffs; the Badgers (On Wisconsin!); and the Packers (dunh, dunh, da…Go Pack Go!).   Our friends at ESPN 540 are covering all the Homestead Highlanders Division 1 playoff games (with a little support from Sprecher) since Homestead won’t be able to play any games on their home field (paperwork snafu).  For those of you not near a radio during game time, here’s a hint:  you can get the playoff Sprecher tour special (buy 1 get 1 free) by calling 414.964.2739 and saying the magic words: “Division 1 Playoffs!” when you make your tour reservations.

Indeed, it’s Halloween weekend.  Ghosts and goblins of all ages are welcome to take the extra scary tours, full of treats; no tricks.  Sprecher is a Halloween Safe Spot again this year. P.S. It’s officially trick or treat in Glendale 1-4pm on Saturday so you can score some extra candy from the neighbors when you visit the brewery.

Football, Halloween, Fall…its time for some great beers that compliment the sports, weather, foods and smells of the season.  Recently bottled: Sprecher Dopple Bock.  If you like a smooth lager with suggestions of caramel and dark roasted malts, try this divine beverage in a snifter or wine glass.  At 8.0% ABV, this is a great beer for lingering over.  Serve it at 50-60 degrees for maximum aromatics and flavor.  Great match for steaks and stews, or after dinner dark chocolates.  Also available: Bourbon Barrel Aged Dopple Bock…total treat.

Not seen since the 90s, but back in the bottle now: Sprecher Dunkle Weizen.  Note the intriguing spelling.  That’s the only thing that’s a wee bit different.  That and the fact it’s available in a 12oz bottle in the Sprecher Gift Shop.  This is the same classic dark roasted malt ale that is the ultimate session beer for this time of year.  4.65% ABV, serve at 45-50 degrees.  Drink with good friends and great food.

Sprecher Brewings and Doings

28th November 2008

Happy Holiday Season to All!  Turkey day went well, although my turkey was done 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  Consequently, the dinner became another occasion when we realized that the food didn’t matter all that much.  We enjoyed some great beer though.  Recent batches of Black Bavarian have been excellent.  Randy declared his particular bottle worthy of an international gold medal.   We paired Black with a fabulous WI blue cheese, but I’m not sure of the name.  It also pairs well with Hooks Blue, another WI artisanal cheese.  Myself, I had Pipers Scotch Ale, which I think is a wonderful beer especially in the fall.

Another of my favorites — Dopple Bock.  Not too sweet, but with nice caramel malts.  A bit of burnt sugar taste intermingled with the soft roasted caramel flavors.  Tons of flavor and aromatics, especially if it’s not served too cold.  Tonight at the Mine Shaft restaurant in Hartford, WI, 22 N. Main St., Randy will tap a keg of Dopple Bock.  I’m not sure what time, exactly (6 or 7pm).  Join us for the fun.