If there's one thing we're as passionate about as food and cooking, it's drinking - and, more specifically, drinking beer. Luckily, the two passions are never in competition for our affection and in fact, pair rather nicely with one another. Such was the case when we were invited to participate in The Bruery's Facebook Blogger Invitational and given the chance to create a recipe using one of The Bruery's newest seasonal brews, the Autumn Maple. The home cooks inside of us were eager to get cooking, but the beer drinkers inside of were even more excited to get our hands on a few of these bottles.
For the uninitiated, The Bruery is one of our favorite Southern California microbreweries. Located in Orange County, the small brewery puts out a bold collection of innovative Belgian-style ales. Their small-batch specialty brews like the Black Tuesday are widely sought after and their seasonal brews are annually anticipated. Such is the case for The Bruery's Autumn Maple, a Belgian-style brown ale that is a unique alternative to the Pumpkin Ales that typically hit shelves at this time of year. Brewed with yams (17 lbs. per barrel), cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup, this spicy, 10% ABV brown ale exemplifies autumn.
Having grown up in Vermont, I can't think about maple without thinking about breakfast, so we decided to use the Autumn Maple to help make a sandwich we could enjoy for breakfast (or any time of the day, for that matter). We settled on the idea of pork sliders braised in beer and served with a fried egg, arugula and a maple hollandaise sauce inside a toasted English muffin.
For Autumn Maple breakfast pork sliders:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 8 oz breakfast sausage patties
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, finely diced
- ¼ cup finely diced sweet onion
- 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley)
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme)
- 1 tsp ground cayenne
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup Autumn Maple beer
- 4 English muffins
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 4 fried eggs
- Maple hollandaise (recipe below)
Mix together ground pork, breakfast sausage, bacon, sweet onion, parsley, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper. Form into small patties about 3/4” thick.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush both sides of each English muffin with melted butter and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep warm until the sandwiches are ready to assemble.
Brush a grill pan with olive oil. Heat on the stove over medium heat, then add the patties. Without moving them around (so you don’t disturb the searing process), baste the top of patties with Autumn Maple every couple of minutes. After 6-7 minutes, turn the patties over and cook another 5-6 minutes, again basting the top of each patty with Autumn Maple beer. Turn the patties over one more time and cook an additional 1 minute, slightly smushing the patties with a spatula. Remove from heat.
For Maple Hollandaise:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup melted butter
Place egg yolks, maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt in the blender, cover and pulse just once to combine. Open lid, set blender to low speed and slowly pour the melted butter into the blender in a thin stream. Once all the butter is incorporated, keep warm until use.
For the eggs, heat 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter over medium low heat. Crack a couple of eggs into small bowls, then carefully ease them into the heated pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, spooning the hot oil over top of the eggs and sprinkling them with salt and pepper, then cover the pan, remove it from heat, and let it sit another 5 minutes.
Place each pork patty on one half of an English muffin. Layer on a fried egg, then a bit of arugula, then drizzle with maple hollandaise. Finish with the top half of muffin. Enjoy with a glass of The Bruery's Autumn Maple Belgian Style Brown Ale. I know we said this was a breakfast post and it's not even noon, but you've earned it.