Hallooo, shipmates! Get ready for some true enlightenment on the ways of ale! And this is a special column, since it involves one of me old sailor buddies’Galley Frank!
As some of ye old spars know, the galley is an old nautical term with a plethora of maritime meanings. But today we mean that stinking crevice deep in the hold where the most vile slop is served. That’s right’your mama! Har, just kidding, mates! But I do mean the ship’s kitchen. And old Frank Mischoff is the chief slop-server at the Beer Skipper’s stove deep down in the ship’s bowel
Actually, Mr. Mischoff is an accomplished chef who, smitten with my beautiful prose, went to experimenting with recipes that used generous portions of our favorite beverage. And he has enlightened us with this monster that will take the edge off the cold weather: Galley Frank’s Smokehouse Beer & Cheese Soup!
First, run down to Stones River Total Beverage (208 N. Thompson Lane; totalbeverages.net) and get a big ole bottle or two of Rauchbier (literally ’Smoke Beer’) from Germany’s Aecht Schlenkerla brewery or some other fine vendors, along with a 22 oz. bomber of Stone Brewery’s Double Bastard ($6.99’a real deal on a big beer!). Then get the following ingredients:
6 strips hickory smoked bacon, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 small onion (diced), 1/4 cup flour, 4 cans of chicken broth, 8 oz. of cheddar cheese and an 8 oz. package of Johnsonville Smoked Brats (slice to quarter-inch slices), and some white pepper.
1. Once you’ve got the beer, take strips of hickory smoked bacon and, in a large pot, render the bacon for the fat. Frank then tells us to take the cooked bacon out, and eat a BLT for lunch, washing it down with the Double Bastard.
2. Then, using the bacon fat and butter, saut’ the onion for about five minutes.
3. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir it for about 3 minutes. Then add the chicken broth and about 17 oz. of the Rauchbier.
4. Slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly over medium heat. Be careful not to burn it, ye drunken bastard!
5. Add the brats, turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer for a while. Add a little white pepper to taste.
’But,’ ye moan, ’How long, Great Ale Captain, do we want it to simmer?’ Do I look like freakin’ Rachael Ray? How ’bout this: Until you can’t take it anymore and ye grab a spoonful or 30, ye scurvy ale dogs!
The Beer Skipper, a.k.a. John Cummins, is a Murfreesboro resident, a founder of the Middle Tennessee Home Brew Club (msbrewcrew.org) and captain of the Nashville Brews Cruise (nashvillebrewscruise.com). Feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com.