Jun 22, 2018

Beer Break

Beer Break Vol. 3, No. 22
St. Patrick's Day recipe

March 13, 2003

Next time you are in your local supermarket look for "Cooking with Beer," a mini-cookbook that is available through April 8. It is part of the Favorite Brands Name Recipes series and you get almost 100 pages of recipes that use beer as an ingredient for just $3.99.


We asked Lucy Saunders (, one of the editors, to pick out a recipe for Beer Break readers. She chose Porter Portobello Mushrooms from the Draft Picks chapter, "The perfect food for the big game." This would work Sunday for the NCAA Tournament selection show or anytime else during the tournament. However, Lucy chose the recipe with an eye toward St. Patrick's Day (Monday, in case you haven't checked the calendar).

The recipe makes 10 servings:

1 pound lean ground lamb
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 tablespoon finely diced pimiento
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 large Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned
12 ounces porter

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Thoroughly mix ground lamb, garlic, chives, rosemary, pimiento and red pepper flakes in medium blow.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms; stuff mushroom caps with lamb mixture. 3. Place stuffed mushrooms in shallow 13x9x2 baking dish; pour ale over mushrooms. Bake until meat is browned, about 20 minutes.

"It's a great way to feature lamb in a St. Patrick's Day menu without the labor of making a gigantic pot of stew," Lucy said. "The stuffed mushrooms pair pleasurably with Irish Stout, too."

How to catch a leprecahun

Why should you care? Well, Coleman's Irish Pub in Syracuse, N.Y. -- which will be so crowded on Monday that you'll have to wait in line outside until somebody leaves -- has a separate leprechaun door. Or maybe we just figure you should have something Irish to talk about if you find yourself in a pub Monday and people are or are not asking for green beer.

A leprechaun is an Irish fairy, with the name itself derived from "Luchorpan," meaning "little body." Full grown, they are said to stand about two feet tall, three at the most.

According to legend, they are unfriendly, live alone, and scowl often. They are shoemakers by trade, wearing a cocked hat and a leather apron.

A leprechaun may possess a pot of gold, which is sometimes believed to be at the end of a rainbow. Because leprechauns work hard at finding new hiding places for their gold they are just as hard to locate at the gold. Legend has it that they carry two coins with them. One is magical and replenishes the second one when they give it away. The second one turns to stone or sand as soon as the leprechaun is out of sight.

Those trying to capture a leprechaun and his gold are advised to listen for the sound of a shoemaker's hammer. When caught, the leprechaun must reveal the whereabouts of his pot of gold. However, to keep custody of the leprechaun, you must never take your eyes off of him. He will try to trick you into looking away, and if you do ... poof, he vanishes.

More on Ireland and Irish beers.

Tasting notes

Brewed by the Wye Valley brewery in England
Michael Jackson writes: The brew pours with a rocky head and has a fragrant, lemon-zest, aroma; a cleansing, resiny, palate, and a very late, lingering, peaty dryness. At a modest 4.6 per cent alcohol by volume, it is packed with flavor.

Brewed by Sante Fe Brewing in New Mexico
Roger Protz writes:
Burnished copper color with a tightly beaded collar of foam. A rich aroma dominated by a sappy, woody note from the hops and a bready, malty underpinning. Hops come to the fore on the tongue, balanced by juicy malt and a touch of ripe marmalade fruit. The fruit linger into the finish, which has a big, juicy malt character and a pleasing touch of spicy hop. A well-made, delectable beer and the ideal apertif.

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