Instagram, facebook, twitter, etc. These social media outlets can connect you to strangers all over the country and possibly all over the world. One person I was connected with was Luis. He responded to something I posted with tons of great cooking/beer pairing ideas. My first instinct was to suggest that he do a guest post, and he did! We began messaging back and forth on twitter and eventually set up a plan for his post. Not only did he make some delicious food (that I’ve never even attempted to make) but he also did TWO beer pairings. That’s right, not one, but two. I’m so grateful for this cross country collaboration – and also grateful he added on a collaboration beer. The craft beer community is a beautiful thing.
See more from Luis:
Twitter and IG – @luisemolina
For the lamb burgers:
2.5 lbs of ground lamb meat
6 tbsp of salt
8 tbsp of black pepper
Heat oven to 350F. Combine the salt and pepper into the ground meat. Make sure ingredients are generously and equally distributed. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before forming patties. Using a half-cup measuring cup to measure, form patties to about a 6 inch patty, and place onto a buttered/oiled cookie sheet. Place patties into oven and allow to cook for about 25 minutes.
For mint goat cheese spread:
1 cup of fresh mint leaves
1.5 cups of cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
8 oz of goat cheese
4 tbsp of honey
Salt to taste
Using a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend into a smooth consistency. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
For fig spread:
6 to 8 oz of dried figs (approximately 24 whole figs) with stems removed
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1tbsp of pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and combine all ingredients. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the liquid has come to a thicker consistency, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for later use.
For sweet potato chips:
About 5 Sweet Potatoes or a million if you’re really into sweet potato chips.
Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Cut potatoes into wedges or chips. Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil. Cook potatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Remove potatoes from boiling water, place in a tray, and refrigerate for about an hour. In a frying pan or cast iron skillet, heat vegetable or corn oil using medium heat. (Oil should be about 1.5 inches high) Cook cooled potatoes in medium heat for about 6 minutes. Place onto a plate with a napkin to allow the oil absorb. After cooking the last batch of potatoes, raise heat of oil to a medium-high heat. Place cooked potatoes again into the increased heated oil for no more than 4 minutes. (Potatoes should now be crispy and brown). Transfer again onto a plate with a towel or napkin to allow the oil to absorb.
1 cup of ketchup
1/3 cup of Sriracha
Combine ingredients together using a fork or a whisk and serve with sweet potato fries.
For this recipe, I decided to pair them with two porters I’m a big fan of. First of all, I’d like to mention that lamb is such a great tasting meat, that almost any type of beer will work as a pairing. For my taste, porters have a rich, dark, and malty taste that provides a tasty balance to the burger, spreads, and chips.
Payback Porter from Speakeasy
The first pairing is Payback Porter from Speakeasy (San Francisco, California). Has a light roast with some cocoa and fruit notes.
Jurata, Baltic Porter – a collab between Cigar City and Coronado Brewing.
The second pairing is a collaboration between Coronado Brewing (Coronado, California) and Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) called Jurata, Baltic Porter. Brilliant lacing, cappuccino notes, a bit nutty, and mild carbonation.