Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management students at Lane Community College took a class field trip that other students rarely experience: a trip to Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing Company to become better acquainted with their ingredients. With a benefit dinner featuring foods made with beer, it’s as close to brew school as you can get!
The results of their learning experience ranged from inventive appetizers to familiar main courses with a surprising snap. “It was amazing,” said Nanette McGie, a second year student in the program. “We did a tasting at Ninkasi to settle in and see the flavors. I chose Believer because I really like it.”
Other beers by Ninkasi used in the recipes included Wunderbier Kolsch, Lux German-Style Helles Lager, Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and Maiden the Shade IPA. Donnie Smith, a second-year student, turned to Oatis Oatmeal Stout because “I’ve used it in other recipes at home. I make a black bean and venison chili with that.” Lemuel Wilson, a graduate of the program now working at a local bakery, used Total Domination IPA for his dish. “Total Domination is a fish beer. It brings out the taste of the fish. Once you get it in the back of your throat it brings out the hotness.”
Student chef Zac Schneiter helped prepare the main course recipes: a beef brasato marinated and glazed in Believer Double Red Ale, a green bean and farro salad with a Wunderbier vinaigrette, and a Vanilla Oatis “Ding Dong” as the dinner’s dessert. The green bean and farro salad offered a delightfully tangy flavor that culminated with a lemon-pie aftertaste. Schneiter said he chose beer pairings for his recipes with the understanding that the various hops accentuate different taste notes. The hearty brasato was paired with Total Domination IPA for the event, but also washed down well with both Wunderbier and Lux. Their Oatis “Ding Dong” was the grand finale, tasting like a grown-up version of the childhood guilty pleasure. Replacing the liquids in the recipe with the stout gave it a hint of coffee to blend perfectly with the chocolate glaze and creamy filling.
Culinary Arts students at LCC competed for a coveted place preparing food for this summer’s Al Fresco! Beer & Bounty, a benefit dinner for the school’s Learning Garden, which is a student-driven program that cultivates healthy, sustainable food, and for technology upgrades for the Center for Meeting and Learning. Students had to write an essay to be considered for the six positions that were available. The first Al Fresco! Beer & Bounty event was held Wednesday, August 20. Directors of the school hope it will become an annual event.
Photos by Jennifer Oberst
By: Lane Community College Culinary Arts Program
Paired with: Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
15 pounds beef short ribs
4 pounds yellow onions, diced
2.5 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
8 ounces per pound bacon, diced
2 ounces garlic, peeled and minced
1 ounce basil, fresh herb chopped fine
1 ounce rosemary, fresh herb chopped fine
32 fluid ounces Believer beer
1/2 gallon scratch beef stock
*Sear ribs in a hot braising pan with a little olive oil.
*Remove ribs from pan and add bacon. Cook bacon until most of the fat is rendered and add the onion. Sweat the onion until it is clear and then add garlic. Cook garlic until it’s fragrant.
*Add 28 ounces of the beer and reduce by half. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil.
*Reduce to a simmer and add the ribs along with a little salt and pepper. Cover pan and bake in a 300 degree oven for 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours until the ribs are tender.
*Remove ribs and add the rest of the beer. Reduce the sauce by half. A little cornstarch slurry can be added for more thickness. If needed, season sauce with salt and pepper then add the herbs.
By: Lane Community College Culinary Arts Program
Paired with: Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE
2 cups Vanilla Oatis Beer
2 cups butter, unsalted
1 1⁄2 cups baking cocoa
4 cups organic flour
4 cups Bakers Special sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt
4 whole eggs
1 1/3 cup sour cream
DIRECTIONS FOR CAKE
*Simmer Oatis and butter over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.
*Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
*In a mixer, blend eggs and sour cream. Add Oatis-chocolate mixture until combined. Add flour mixture a little at a time until combined. Scrape bowl and stir briefly with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is combined.
*Bake at 325 degrees until done (approximately 35 minutes).
INGREDIENTS FOR SYRUP
2 cups whole raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla organic extract
1 ounce cornstarch slurry
DIRECTIONS FOR SYRUP
*Cook raspberries, vanilla, and sugar until soft.
*Thicken with a little cornstarch slurry.
*Strain and cool.
INGREDIENTS TO FINISH DING DONG
1 vanilla Oatis chocolate cake
8 ounces bittersweet block chocolate
2 ounces canola oil
DIRECTIONS TO FINISH DING DONG
*Fold some of the raspberry syrup into the whipped cream to get your desired intensity of flavor.
*Cut cake into two-inch rounds. Cut about a quarter of the top and bottom of the round. Using a smaller cutter, slice out the center of the cake round.
*Place one of the ends on a rack and place the round on top of that. Fill the empty space with some of the raspberry whipped cream. Place the other end on top, sealing in the whipped cream.
Repeat with the rest of the cake.
*Melt chocolate with the oil. Pour the chocolate mixture over the sealed cake to cover the top and sides. Let harden and serve with a small amount of the raspberry syrup on the plate.