Lifestyle » Vol. 9

New Castle Ale – Not Just For Drinking Anymore

By Erin Hart

While the weather outside may still be chilly (or at least not as consistently balmy as we’d like it to be), I’m sure you’re already thinking warm, sunny thoughts as we head towards…say it with me…SUMMER! And what’s more “summery” than delicious food sizzling over a hot grill while you sit back, relax and enjoy a cold beer? Well, we couldn’t come up with anything else either, so it’s a good thing that TV’s Sam “The Cooking Guy” ( took it upon himself to match Newcastle Brown Ale’s ( smooth, nutty sweetness with equally full-flavored food and create Sticky Sweet Newkie Ribs, Barbecued Shrimp (no BBQ required!), and his My Favorite Chicken Wings. Are you licking your lips yet?

Sticky Sweet Newkie Ribs ~ Serves 4 to 6

Here’s all you need to know to make great ribs: pre-cook them first, and then finish them on the grill with the great sauce recipe below. Do that and you’ll be a freakin’ rib genius ~ the envy of all your friends. Note, though, that by “pre-cooking,” we mean roasting them in the oven. The whole “boiled meat” concept is kinda scary.

2 racks pork back ribs, 5-6 pounds

4 tablespoons white vinegar

½ cup plain barbecue sauce

¼ cup Newcastle Brown Ale

1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place ribs and vinegar in a large baking or casserole dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake about 60 min. or until very tender. While they cook, combine BBQ sauce, Newcastle and brown sugar in a small bowl ~ mix well and set aside. When the ribs are done, remove from oven and carefully (there’s going to be a lot of steam!) lift off the foil. Heat your grill to medium/high and place the ribs meat side down without sauce (but you can baste the top with the sauce). Cook until they start to develop nice grill marks, then turn over ~ and baste the top side. Now it’s just a matter of basting and letting the ribs get some great color on each side. Once they have that delicious, fall-from-bone, melt-in-your-mouth look, remove them from the grill, give them one extra baste for good luck, and ENJOY!

Barbecued Shrimp (no BBQ required!) ~ Serves 2 – 3

Garlic, beer, shrimp & butter. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that pretty close to Heaven? Plus you get to eat with your hands. I’m quivering with anticipation. My knees are weak.

1 lb. shrimp (21-25s are great for this) shell on and deveined

1.5 sticks butter

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh garlic

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp each: crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.

Juice of 1 lemon

8 ounces Newcastle Brown Ale

In a large pan over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter with garlic (careful not to let it burn!). Add the shrimp and spices ~ and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Add the remainder of the butter plus the beer, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice – heat through. Serve with lots of cold bottled beer, warm crusty bread and newspaper as placemats

My Favorite Chicken Wings ~ Makes about 18 wings

2 pounds chicken wings

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, chopped very fine

12 ounces Newcastle Brown Ale

Put wings in a large zip lock bag. Mix soy, brown sugar, ginger, and Newcastle well and add about ¾ to the wings and reserve the rest. Shut bag and mix so wings get sauced ~ refrigerate from 30 minutes up to overnight.

When you’re ready to cook the wings, heat broiler and remove wings from marinade and place on a large foil covered baking sheet. Place under the broiler for 10 minutes, flip and cook for another 15 ~ try to baste 2 or 3 times on each side with reserved marinade. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions (scallions).

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