A representative for Negra Modelo Beer contacted me and asked if I would like a free blogger kit that I could use to throw a party for my friends that featured Negra Modelo food pairings. These pairings would support Negra Modelo’s “Perfect Complement” campaign (#theperfectcomplement). As someone that already enjoys Negra Modelo, I agreed to this timely idea because I was already getting together with some of my best friends the following weekend. Negra Modelo then sent me the blogger package which graciously included a:
- Set of 4 pre-mixed spice blends from the Spice House;
- Bunch of cinnamon sticks;
- Bunch of bay leaves;
- Cheese cutting board;
- Small pin;
- Set of two Negra Modelo beer glasses; and
- A generous gift card to throw the party.
My friends and I had a great time coming up with food pairings that would work well with one of the last remaining Vienna Style Lagers. Negra Modelo’s darkly sweet profile with hints of chocolate and fruit pair tend to pair very well with savory or spicy foods to provide a balance to the meal. In addition to pairing the beer with food, we also decided to try cooking with the beer as an ingredient in recipes. Here are the recipes that what we came up with:
Full Disclosure: Please keep in mind that all opinions in this post are my own and that no person/company purchased my opinion by sending me any products. I always reserve the right to speak freely about products I review. Lastly, I do turn down products that I do not feel I can review well or that I would prefer not to blog about in order to provide readers with mostly positive opinions about products I enjoy.
Shredded Beef Slow Simmered in Negra Modelo (requires slow cooker)
This recipe is a modified version of my Shredded Beef Recipe. I doubled the amount of meat, halved the spices to showcase the beer, and added a little bit of extra liquid in the form of beer. I thought this recipe came out even better than my original version of the shredded beef. The beer paired perfectly with the spices and rounded out the flavors. Due to the malt and hops, the beer bridged the gap between the meat and corn tortillas we used for the meal. It also went extremely well over steamed white rice with some added cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
- 4 pounds of boneless beef chuck (310 cal per 4 oz. or 2480 calories total)
- 1/2 cup (8 oz.) of Negra Modelo Beer (85 calories)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (about 90 calories)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground corriander
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 whole bay leaves
- Combine all of the spices (excluding the bay leaves) into a small bowl and mix them together.
- Lay down a long sheet of plastic wrap on a clean counter and then place the pieces of beef chuck onto the plastic. Make sure to remove any twine that may be holding the beef together.
- Liberally apply the dry rub seasoning to all areas of the meat until alll the meat is pretty much covered.
- Wrap up the meat in the plastic wrap really well and place in the fridge to marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- When ready, take the meat out of the plastic wrap and place it in the slow cooker.
- Pour in the beer around the sides of the meat and toss in the two bay leaves.
- Set the slow cooker to low heat and cook for 8 or 9 hours. Periodically check in if you want to see this glorious slow process unfold.
- When the meat is ready, remove the bay leaves before using two forks to lightly and easily shred all of the beef right into the juices. Serve immediately for tacos, nachos, or just simply over rice! The leftovers also reheat extremely well.
Sweet and Spicy Negra Modelo Chicken Wing Sauce
This recipe is the brainchild of my friend, Dirty. It started when I suggested that we buy some wings for the party and fry them up as an appetizer. His eyes lit up as he started saying, “You know what we could do with the Negra is…” and I finished his thought with, “…make a wing sauce!” He immediately started rummaging through my fridge and pantry pulling out random ingredients as well as asking me if I had certain items. With a list of sweet and savory ingredients before him, Dirty revealed his concept for a sweet and spicy sauce. This differed from my idea to make a more barbecue style sauce that capitalized on the Negra Modelo’s choclate-y notes. I liked my friend’s completely original concept though and I let him loose in the kitchen. The following wing sauce recipe is what he masterfully concocted.
- 12 oz. (one bottle) Negra Modelo beer (170 calories)
- 2 tablespoons whole gran mustard (60 calories)
- 2 tablespoons fig jam / spread (120 calories)
- 1 tablespoon honey (60 calories)
- 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) of Aleppo pepper
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon “Back of the Yards” spice blend (telicherry pepper, garlic, salt, sugar, shallots, bell pepper, and parsley).
- In a sauce pot, bring 12 oz. (one bottle) of Negra Modelo beer to a simmer. Be careful because the beer tends to froth and you may need to beat down the bubbles with a spoon. It helps to lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to preemptively keep the frothing in check.
- Once the beer is simmering, add in the rest of the ingredients one at a time by stirring often and making sure they dissolve well.
- Keep the sauce simmering on medium to low heat while stirring every 5 minutes or so until the sauce thickens up to the desired consistency. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken a bit when it cools, so get the thickness close, but not quite to where you want it to end up when you take it off the heat.
- The consistency we went for was thick enough to coat a chicken wing, but still thin enough to drizzle easily with a spoon.
- When the sauce is ready, remove it from the heat, let it cool, and then place it into a small condiment container.
- Drizzle over wings or dip them right into it for a wonderfully sweet, spicy, and malty sauce that complements the wings perfectly.
This recipe is crazy simple, but came out so ridiculously well that it needed sharing. We took a box of brownie mix and replaced the water in the recipe with beer. That’s it. Basically, find your favorite boxed brownie mix, grab a Negra Modelo, and make brownies according to the directions on the box, but replace the water with beer. These came out fluffy, but dense with an intensely deep chocolate flavor.