Recipe: Beau’s Channel Ocho Tacos

Channel Ocho
Beau’s Channel Ocho is NOT your-run-of-the-mill cerveza. 
Billed as a Mexican-spiced ale, Channel Ocho is brewed with ingredients that not everyone would normally associate with beer. With additions like chipotle peppers, cocoa nibs and cinnamon sticks (all organic of course), it seems to have more in common with Mole Poblano than it would with other beers on the market.

I first tried Channel Ocho a few weeks ago and found it quite a bit different than it is today. The spice was powerful. It really attacked the palate and left that pleasant kind of tingle that I, as a spicy-food lover, appreciate. For someone with a lower tolerance to heat, however, it might have been a less delightful experience. Conversely, the two bottles that I sampled last weekend were more subdued, but demonstrated a very appealing combination of flavours.

Interestingly, the base style of this beer is something along the lines of a strong Abbey Ale or a Belgian Dubbel. I found that a lot of that character came through in both the aroma and flavour. There is an abundance of yeast esters in particular banana, strong in both taste and smell, but also dark dried fruit, like raisin and date, that come out more so as you drink. The nose is also quite smokey with some phenolic notes of clove and pepper, rounded out by a subtle cinnamon. Besides the estery flavours, there is a strong smokiness, almost leathery or tobacco-y, which strikes a nice balance with the cocoa and chocolate. While the bite of the cinnamon and chipotle may have diminished, it was nevertheless present in the ensemble; acting as a perfect complement to the noticeable alcohol warmth. Despite sounding like a rather big and heavy beer, Channel Ocho went down surprisingly easy – not feeling at all out of place out in the warm Spring sun.

While enjoying this beer, the two thoughts that immediately sprung to mind were: 1) this would be awesome around a campfire, and 2) I really want to cook with it…

 

Channel Ocho Tacos

Ocho tacos

I wanted to make a meal that both complemented the spicy/chocolaty character of the beer, that reminded me of Mole Poblano, while also highlighting the lighter fruity flavours. The result was a pork taco, slow cooked in Channel Ocho, topped in a Channel Ocho ‘mole’ with a side of baked plantains. Delicious!

What You Need:

(For 8 tacos)

Homemade tortillas:

1.5    cup     Flour
0.5    cup     Warm Water
0.5    tsp      Salt
0.5    tsp      Baking Powder
1.5     tbsp   Cumin Seeds
2.0     tbsp   Olive Oil
1.0     tbsp   Chili Powder
0.5     tsp     Ground Cinnamon
1.0     tbsp   Honey

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Combine dry ingredients, followed by wet ingredients. Knead dough. Bread into 8 even pieces and roll out on a well-floured surface. Add olive oil to a hot pan. Cook each tortilla until it begins to brown on both sides.

Meat

Pork:

1             Pork loin
1             Bottle of Beau’s Channel Ocho Mexican Spiced Ale
1 tbsp      Sea Salt

Pour about 3/4 of Beau’s Channel Ocho in to a slow-cooker with your pork loin. Add sea salt and cook according to your particular slow-cooker’s settings.

 

Toppings

‘Mole’

40g             70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
2 cloves       Garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup         Red Onion (diced)
2                   Roma Tomatoes (peeled, chopped)

 

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Once your pork has finished cooking, drain the liquid from the slow-cooker into a sauce pan. Add dark chocolate, garlic, red onion and Roma tomatoes and reduce. Using a hand blender puree the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add your pork meat to the sauce.

Slaw

4                 Jalapeños (sliced)
1/2            Head of Lettuce (chopped)
2/3 cup     Rice Wine Vinegar
4                Roma Tomatos (chopped)

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Combine jalapeños, lettuce and vinegar in bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes. Chop tomatoes and let sit in a separate bowl.

Sour Cream

1 cup        Sour Cream
1/2 cup    Cilantro (chopped)
1.5 tbsp    Mint (finely chopped)

Combine ingredients in bowl.

Side

Baked Plantains

4   Ripe Plantains

Slice into 3 more or less equal sections lengthwise and then width-wise. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place plantains on a baking sheet. Cook until starting to show char marks on both side. Do not let them cook on either side for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Channel Ocho Tacos

Enjoy!

 

Other good reads about Beau’s Channel Ocho:

Beau’s Channel Ocho + Beer Can Chicken
Channel Ocho: ¡Ay, Ay, Ay, Eso es Caliente!
Ottawa Beer Events Release Notice

 

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