Three cans of Indeed Brewery's Yamma Jamma beer
This isn’t the year of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, this is the year of the backlash against the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and really all things pumpkin spiced. Have pumpkins jumped the shark?
Well, first of all, let’s pump the brakes. Actual pumpkins are still awesome, as are so many squashy bits that are being harvested right now. The backlash is more about the awkward chemical flavoring of things That Should Not Be Named. I’m not even adverse to pumpkin beers, which actually have a super long historical significance in the U.S., unlike pumpkin deodorant. But for me, they have to be less like a slice of sugary pumpkin pie, and more like a riot in the squash patch.
My local favorite, Indeed Brewing’s Yamma Jamma Harvest Ale, isn’t actually made with pumpkin, but sweet potatoes, which brings a full harvest riot to the glass. Head brewer Josh Bischoff says, “Yamma Jamma is a celebration of fall spices. I feel like pumpkin itself doesn't have much flavor, so it is actually the spices that make up the flavor profile of typical pumpkin brews. By using sweet potatoes, we are able to get more rootsy flavor to come through in the beer, adding to the complexity of the ale.”
This is aeally good raking-the-leaves sipper, it’s a brown boots and chunky knit sweater beer, one that begs for a cracklin’ bonfire. But it’s actually more than that, it’s a food beer. This one in particular finds its way into my cooking this time of year. Here’s how I do Yamma Jamma Three Ways.
First: From a can, with your apron on.
Second: Yamma Jamma Pot Roast
2 tbsp butter
4 lb. beef pot roast
Salt, pepper, cinnamon
1 can Yamma Jamma Harvest Ale
5 gloves garlic, peeled
Sprigs of thyme
1 cup chunked sweet potato
1 cup carrots, how you like them
Preheat oven to 350. In a deep pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Season roast with salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Sear all sides in butter, just browning meat. Remove from heat and add Yamma Jamma and enough chicken stock to raise liquid level to just at the top level of the roast, not submerging it. Toss in garlic and whole sprigs of thyme. Cover pot and place in oven.
After about two hours, add sweet potatoes and carrots, and return pot to oven for an additional hour. After a total of about three hours, the roast should be tender and soft, the veggies should be strained and served.
Third: YJ Harvest Ice Cream
1 can of Yamma Jamma Harvest Ale
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Cinnamon and ginger to taste
Pour beer into small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring to a rolling boil, then lower heat a bit. Allow beer to reduce by half, remove from heat and let cool.
Place milk and cream in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. While liquids are warming, beat egg yolks with sugar in a medium bowl until pale yellow. Once the cream mix is warm, slowly pour by thin stream into yolks while whisking the combination, continually whisking until all the cream is incorporated. Pour mixture back into sauce pan, and heat over medium, occasionally whisking so as not to scald. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl to cool. Stir in beer reduction, along with vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger.
Once cool, put into ice cream maker and process. Before serving, grate fresh nutmeg over the top.
P.S. If you want to get down with those Indeed cats and celebrate the harvest, don’t skip their annual Hullabaloo party next weekend Oct. 10-11! It’s YAM-packed with all the good brews, music, and cheese-stuffed burgers from Blue Door Pub that you can handle.