Winter Beer

My Great Aunt Lydia’s Chaffing Dish & an Oak-Age Scotch Ale

I am almost at my one year anniversary writing this blog. To celebrate, I thought I’d try a recipe from my grandmother’s cook book. I was mindlessly going through it when I came across my Great Aunt Lydia’s Chaffing Dish (also known as Aunt Lydia’s Meatballs) and I realized that one of my favorite holiday childhood recipes had grape jelly in it.

I swear this isn’t the weirdest ingredient that I’ve come across in my grandmother’s cookbook, but it is the first that caused me to do a double take. It was hard for me to believe that grape jelly would make for a yummy dish for dinner. I had to recreate this recipe for myself.

Now what to pair it with? Since it’s been snowing on and off quite a bit lately I opted for a beer called Snow & Tell. Is this a cozy pairing for a housebound day or is it as nasty as the weather outside?

Let’s find out shall we…

The Beer:

dscn1172Snow & Tell is an Oak-aged Scotch Ale by Boulevard Brewing Company (based out of Kansas City). The bottle art is off to a good start with a homey feel that reminds me of a warm quilt blanket. The bottle describes a blend of “hearty caramel malt character” and three types of hops. I’m looking forward to see if it’ll keep me warm during this latest snow fall.

Style: Oak aged scotch ale with 6.3% alc. per vol.

Aroma: A mix of oak and malt

 Color: Dark brown

Taste: Complex with mild spices, a little smokey, and full bodied

Level of Recommendation: I agree with description of the bottle, it’s good for a snowy day when you’re stuck inside.

The Food:

What you’ll need: dscn1170

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 1 jar of chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup of grape jelly
  • 1/2 a large onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 a lemon’s worth of juice

In a large pan, mix your jar of chili sauce, grape jelly, and lemon juice on low heat. Whisk until the jelly has completely mixed with the chili sauce.

Grate or mince the onion and place in a large bowl. Add in the ground beef and egg. Mix together, then shape into your meatballs. Add into the sauce and allow to simmer for 7 minutes.

Add in the hot dogs and allow to simmer for another 7-10 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked.

Serve with rice.

The Pairing: 


I think that the beer and food complement each other nicely. There’s more of an earthy flavor from the beer that is brought out by the sauce. There’s a good mix of tangy flavors from the meatball sauce (yeah that grape jelly is really good) and the richer flavors of the beer. It’s filling too.

Level of Recommendation: For when you’re trapped inside all day (especially with kids) and need a moment to relax.


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