When it rains for most of the weekend like it did here in eastern Iowa this past Saturday and Sunday, I just want to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and read a book. It helps set the mood if something is slowly simmering in the slow cooker for eight hours. It gets even better when that something is simmering in high quality beer. Oh, how will I ever get all of these things accomplished?
My dad sent me a recipe a while back for a slow cooker stew that combined two of my favorite things: bacon and beer. Sure, there were other ingredients but who really cares once you get to bacon and beer?
Considering that he was coming over for a movie night with my daughter it seemed the opportune time to break out his suggestion. The recipe called for approximately 14 ounces of stout—conveniently about the same size as a can of Guinness commonly available in cans in the U.S.
Unfortunately, I did not have any of the rye stout I have recently brewed available. Heck, it is not even in bottles yet so I will not be enjoying any of that particular batch until I return from vacation in March. So, it was off to the liquor store to see what kinds of stouts were available. I did not want to go the Guinness route—it was less an indictment of Guinness and more a desire to just be different. Rogue’s Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout would be different:
I am a huge fan of this beer when it is on tap. If you are every in Iowa City, head to the Sanctuary near the University of Iowa and have them pour you a glass. The atmosphere of the place is perfect to enjoy a pint of this well-done brew. With the recipe only calling for 14 ounces, I got to enjoy the other 8. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
BTW, I am also a huge fan of Rogue’s bottle art. It’s simple and distinctive in one fell swoop which is more than I can say for so many craft beers.
The verdict on the stew? Kind of weak, honestly. It was like one of those moments on Top Chef where the contestant is just baffled that the dish they slaved over lacks any punch when it comes to flavor. I cannot put my finger on it, but this stew really lacked flavor. The bacon got lost and the stout was nowhere to be found either. Interesting. Oh well, there will be more rainy days for the slow cooker.