Monday, November 19, 2012

Cooking with Beer for the Holidays with Chef Ian Knauer of the TakePart Tastemakers

Smoked IPA_Braised Duck Legs with Cherry Gravey
(Image provided by TakePart Tastemakers)
Looking for a good beer recipe for your holiday dinner?  Even if you aren't, you might be intrigued by a recent video of the TakePart Tastemakers series.  It's devoted to spotlighting leading local businesses committed to bringing their communities food produced in more environmentally sustainable ways.  As part of this campaign, TakePart is also launching key social initiatives designed to help people make better food choices and improve America’s food system as a whole.

On an recently released episode, the intrepid Tastemaker's Chef Ian Knauer visits Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles to find ingredients to add to his Thanksgiving meal.  It's a solid, well produced video serving as a reminder how craft beer is at the forefront of a new consciousness of how food can be better delivered to our tables. You can view the episode at and check out a couple of Chef Knauer's recipes below.  If you'd like .pdf copies of these recipes, drop me an e-mail you'll using the e-mail form you'll find at this link and I'll send them to you.  Enjoy!
Smoked IPA-Braised Duck Legs with Cherry Gravy

Serves 6


2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved
6 parsley sprigs
6 fresh duck legs
1 cup smoked IPA
2 cups duck or chicken stock
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1⁄2 cup cherry preserves


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and parsley in a deep roasting pan. Season duck with salt and pepper, then place on top of vegetables in pan. Add stock and beer to pan and cover with foil. Braise duck until very tender, about 21⁄2 hours. Transfer duck to a broiler pan, skin side up. Strain braising liquid and separate fat. Save fat for another use.

Bring 3 cups of braising liquid to a boil in a medium heavy pot and boil until reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Stir together water and cornstarch, then stir into braising liquid. Boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in preserves and transfer to a serving boat.

Preheat broiler. Broil duck about 3 inches from heat until skin is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer duck to a serving platter and serve with cherry gravy.
Crispy Beer-Roasted Duck


1 (6-lb) duck
1 small orange, quartered
5 or 6 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
1 sage sprig
2 cups boiling Smoked IPA
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

If necessary, cut off wing tips with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Remove and discard excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck inside and out. Season cavity with salt and pepper, then fill cavity with orange, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Fold neck skin under body, then put duck, breast side up, on a rack in a 13- by 9- by 3-inch roasting pan and pour hot beer over duck (to tighten skin). Pour out any beer from cavity into pan. Pat duck dry inside and out, reserving water in pan, then rub duck inside and out with kosher salt and pepper.

Roast duck, breast side up, 45 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn duck over and roast 45 minutes more. Turn duck over again (breast side up), tilting duck to drain any liquid from cavity into pan. Continue to roast duck until skin is brown and crisp, about 45 minutes more (total roasting time: about 21⁄4 hours). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

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