Thursday, December 01, 2016

#VeggieDag Thursday: Sweet Stout-Roasted Root Vegetables

Veggie 'Beastie' Loaf (02)
When my husband tried these, he said he'd been hoping for years to taste a roast vegetable that seemed to have the gravy on the inside instead of on the outside, and I'd finally cracked it. As you simmer a selection of root vegetables in a little sweet stout, you can see the beer being drawn deep into the vegetables. When you finish them in a hot oven, the liquid is sealed inside, while the outside is seared to a roast caramel. I serve them with the Sunday roast, but, for a vegetarian, they are strong-flavoured and substantial enough to be the Sunday roast.

That's British freelance beer and food writer Susan Nowak describing Root Vegetables Roasted with Sweet Stout in her 1999 beer-cuisine cookbook, The Beer Cookbook, now out-of-print, but available online from third-party purveyors.

The Beer Cookbook


The recipe

From page 165:
  • 225 grams (8 oz) each peeled parsnips, swedes, and large carrots, cut into roasting size chunks, roughly equal in size.
  • Approximately 150 ml [5 ounces] sweet stout or brown ale
  • 25 grams (1 oz) butter, for roasting
  • Place the vegetables in a large pan and pour in enough stout to half cover. Put on the lid and simmer gently until they start to soften, then remove from the heat, but leave in the pan to cool and draw in the beer, turning the vegetables in the stock from time to time.
  • Remove vegetables from stock and place in an ovenproof dish.
  • Roast towards the top of a hot oven (400 °F) for ten minutes until the vegetables start to caramelize. Glaze with the butter and return to the oven [middle rack] to crisp for a further 20 minutes, basting twice, until soft on the inside and crisp on the outside with an intense sweetness. Simple but effective.


What YFGF did

  • To prevent the reduction from becoming unpleasantly bitter, avoid cooking with an overly roasty or overly hoppy stout (as is the case with many American 'craft' stouts). In fact, I added a tablespoon of agave syrup when basting the vegetables. (I also substituted Earth Balance for the butter.)
  • I used a full bottle, 12 ounces (355 ml), of Milk Stout from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery (of Farmville, North Carolina).
    The Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout is a traditional full-bodied stout brewed with lactose (milk sugar). Because lactose is unfermentable by brewer's yeast, it remains in the beer. The subtle sweetness and fullness of flavor imparted by this sugar balances the sharpness of the highly roasted grains that give this delicious beer its black color. All year long, Milk Stout is our number one selling beer! ABV: 5.7%.

  • Before roasting the vegetables, I simmered them in the beer (and 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice) for 20 minutes, then let them sit, refrigerated, overnight.
  • If you're vegetarian, you would want to avoid Guinness Stout, which is was made with fish-derived isinglass for clarification. The brewery has announced its intention to change that procedure [and since 2016 is vegan]. Most American 'craft' stouts are not made with isinglass. If you're vegan, you would want to avoid milk stouts, which, although they do not contain milk per se, contain lactose: milk sugar.
  • After roasting the vegetables, I whisked a tablespoon of arrowroot into the beer-vegetable stock. Presto, a gravy.
  • A British "swede" is an American rutabaga. Nowak suggests a dry hoppy bitter as beer accompaniment. England and America are two countries divided by a common language...and beer.


In the Photo

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet and ecological issues.

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