I enjoy the small things in life: a delectable steak, a barleywine, and fresh sheets! And since the high's in Tennessee haven't peaked over 32 degrees in a few days, these three things are the only cure!
Barleywine always bring a tear to my eye. American or English, I do not discriminate. The idea of a mash tun overflowing with malted grain goodness makes my mouth water. All those extracted sugars producing a sweet rich wort for the yeast babies to get a hold of.....yum! And on a bigger scale, have you seen the time lapsed video of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot in action?
I digress. Let's start with my thoughts on Stoudts Old Abominable Barleywine. 8.5% abv, it was brewed with 80% Maris Otter & a single variety of domestic hops then bottled conditioned. I know for sure this bottle is YEARS old, which excited me BUT since it was bottled conditioned, there was a chance the yeast in this baby had gone bad. It ended up having a decent flavor but you could tell it had "died" a little. Notes of nutty caramel malts with little to no mid-palate flavor, ending in a bitter harshness. Disappointed, but it was drinkable.
Thankfully, this recipe (at the bottom of the page) for cast iron skillet steaks came to save the day! In a perfect world, this barleywine would have been fresher, and I would have said the nutty sweet malts melded into the caramelized crust of the meat, while lifting the fat and showcasing the savory essence of the steak. I also topped my steak with a hefty dollop of crumbled Gorgonzola, so the nutty flavors of the beer really helped cut thru & complement the cheese. Not the best barleywine, but it worked out ok with the meal.
What else could you pair with a steak? I like for my beer to have a strong backbone to stand up to the weight of the meat, so I would recommend a Baltic porter or even a Russian Imperial Stout. Especially if you grill your steaks, try a beer with enough roasted barley to echo those grill marks. Black Ale? Sure! Firestone Walker Wookey Jack would be amazing with this dish. Cheers, friend!
Cast Iron Skillet Steaks
Pat down your steaks with paper towels. Coat each one with a good quality olive oil. Salt and pepper each one then press the seasoning into the meat to help keep it adhered. Meanwhile, heat your skillet on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes. When you're ready, place each steak carefully into the skillet. Hear that meat sing! Let each one develop a crust (depending on the size of your steak, about 5-8 minutes a side). Sear all sides. Then, top each one with a tablespoon of butter. Pop into the oven, 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Check for doneness (internal temp of 125 degrees for medium rare).
Welcome to my blog! I want to show the world a simple meal paired with craft beer can elevate their dining experience to unique levels. Cheers!