I'm always looking for ways to support local businesses and recently had 'the dirty job' of taste testing at one of our fast-rising breweries--Cold Fire Brewing Company.  I needed some beer to pair with some dishes I was creating and I'd recently met their marketing guy at an event I was catering.  I took him up on his invite and checked out their tasting room.

Nice space and GREAT beer!! I expected the usual 4-6 taster; 12 tasters later, I'd narrowed down the 2 that I wanted to use.  Met one of the head brew masters whose passion rivaled mine on food.  I wanted to really honor some elk meat a friend had given me so I ended up making an Elk Ragu using their La Leche Milk Stout which is dark as one would expect from a stout. But it was also creamy and smooth with a hint of smokiness.  LOVED IT!!  I also chose their St. James IRA which is crisp with slight citrus overtones for a salmon dish i created.  Both turned out FANTASTIC  and I will share the Elk recipe with you here.  The salmon one will have to wait.

1.5# Elk Stew Meat, cubed

1/4 c. diced carrot; 1/2 small onion diced; 2 cloves of garlic (puree all to a paste)

1 tsp of ALMA FOODS 'Portuguese Smoked Paprika' Dry Rub seasoning: 1 Tsp/each dried thyme and rosemary

1 TBSP butter; 2 slices bacon diced

10 oz Milk Stout; 6oz low sodium Beef Broth

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Saute bacon in butter in Dutch oven; remove bacon and set aside. Add elk meat to bacon grease, adding more butter or oil of your choice, if necessary. Remove meat from grease and set aside.  To the pot, add vegetable paste and saute till softened.

Add elk meat, bacon, beer and broth to pot; bring to a boil, cover and place in oven on 325  degrees for about 3-4 hours till meat is tender.  Serve over pasta, rice, or grain of choice. Serves 2-4 people.

  ELK RAGU made w Cold Fire Brewing Company's "La Leche Milk Stout"

ELK RAGU made w Cold Fire Brewing Company's "La Leche Milk Stout"

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood