Recap: RGC Bench Creek Brewery Swine & Dine

Last Thursday night, chef Steve Buzak at the Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton’s river valley teamed up with Bench Creek Brewing to deliver our first Swine & Dine of 2018. Two years ago, chef Buzak was the first to deliver a beer-paired Swine & Dine to rave reviews, and last week’s event was another Passion for Pork success.

Irvings Farm back wrapped prunes with blue cheese.

I arrived early so I could sneak a peek in the kitchen. Chef Buzak was happy to show off the sous vide Bear & The Flower pork belly, Memphis Style ribs, and devil on horseback appetizer with a prune and blue cheese twist.

Bear & the Flower Farm ribs.
Bear & the Flower Farm Alberta pork belly

Guests were welcomed to the tray passed appetizers of Memphis Style Ribs (a recipe that chef Buzak shared during a previous June is Pork month), and bacon-wrapped prunes were paired with Bench Cree Brewery’s Black Spruce Porter (5.8 %).

After all guests were seated we were greeted by chef Buzak and the Royal Glenora Club (RGC) team, who shared his excitement at hosting another beer-paired Swine & Dine.

After explaining that beer is easier to pair with food than wine – he introduced his first course for the evening – a fennel roasted pork belly served with a sweet potato puree, smoked corn, apricot and orange gastrique.

Our first course was served with  Naked Woodsman Pale Ale (5.2%), which was introduced by our Bench Creek Brewery guru Cassandra. The beer is known for notes of fresh bread and light caramel malt flavours mixed with bright floral, grapefruit and orange hop aromatics. There’s a sweetness to it – apricot and peach hop flavours combine with subdued citrus. It finishes with a star of anise spiciness that makes you think this somewhat fruit-forward brew.

We joked with chef Buzak that my boyfriend’s only complaint with the first course was that it was too small – he could have eaten six more! Chef Buzak warned us there were many courses to come – and our second surf & turf course was sure to fill us up. I loved the seafood chowder chef Buzak served with double smoked Irvings Farm bacon croutons. The potato veloute soup was velvety smooth and served with blackened prawn & scallops and topped with a citrus foam.

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Our soup was served with Bench Creek’s White Raven IPA (6.5%), a robust beer with huge aromatics of orange, grapefruit, passion fruit and mango with a touch of pine. The signature flavours of Munich and crystal malts contribute a complex toffee-caramel backbone that nicely balances the bitterness from the hops.

As our main course was being plated, I snuck back into the kitchen for a preview of our main course.

Once our plates were ready to be served, chef Buzak came back to the dining room to introduce our next dish – the RGC signature spice-rubbed Bear & the Flower Farm pork loin. The tender Alberta pork was served with a cider jus and accompanied by Brussels sprouts and a Fuge Meats chorizo and northern bean cassoulet.

Our main was paired with Bench Creek’s Northern Grace Red Rye India Pale Ale (6.2%), which boasts flavours of rich toffee, dark caramel, dried plum, and spicy, earthy malt notes mixed with juicy orange, passionfruit, geranium, and stone fruit flavours.

For dessert, chef Buzak turned my memories of building fireside s’mores into a flavourful creme brûlée that had my spoon searching for just one more bite.

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Chef Buzak’s s’mores creme brulee & maple candied Irvings Farm bacon was accented with cardamom marshmallows, Peruvian cacao nibs, and an espresso melt away chocolate that chef made with coconut oil.

I’ve confessed it many times while recapping swine & dine dinners – I’m not a fan of chocolate, but I was a huge fan of this dessert. There were so many flavours and textures at play in this playful dessert – I would happily order this dessert again!

Our final Bench Creek pairing of the night was from the brewery’s Villainous Series – with the can showcasing an ode to Drexl Spivey from the movie True Romance. The Drexl Blackstrap Imperial Stout (11%) is barrel-aged, pitch black, dark and I’m told it paired wonderfully with Chef Buzak’s campfire creation.

I’d like to thank the chef Steve Buzak, Derek, and the entire team at the RGC for hosting another incredible Swine & Dine dinner. It was great to learn more about Bench Creek Brewing (I know a few people at my table were more than happy to claim this gluten-free girl’s beers throughout the dinner).

Chef Buzak is a great chef that is consistently hosting unique food events at the RGC that are open to non members. Check out their website or follow their social media feeds to learn more about upcoming events, including their monthly brunch series.

I’m hoping to work with chef Buzak to come up with some way to celebrate June is Pork month at the RGC, so stay tuned! That river valley patio sounds like the perfect place to enjoy some pig & pinot.

Swine & Dine with Bench Creek Brewing Mar 15 at the Royal Glenora Club

On March 15, 2018, chef Steve Buzak is pairing up with Alberta craft brewery Bench Creek Brewing for a beer-paired Swine & Dine at the Royal Glenora Club.

Two years ago, Chef Buzak treated swine & beer diners to our first ever beer-paired Swine & Dine. The event was a hit, and we are so excited to be heading back to Edmonton’s river valley RGC for another round.

Swine & Dine at the RGC with Bench Creek Brewing
Thursday, March 15, 2018
6:30 – 9:30 pm
$75, Seating is limited – reserve your space on Eventbrite.

If you love Alberta Pork and beer, you won’t want to miss this event. Check out this menu:

1st COURSE-
FENNEL ROASTED PORK BELLY
sweet potato puree, smoked corn, cherry gastric

2nd COURSE
SEAFOOD CHOWDER WITH DOUBLE SMOKED BACON CROUTON
voulte. wild prawn, scallop, bacon foam

3rd COURSE
SIGNATURE SPICE RUBBED BEAR AND THE FLOWER PORK LOIN
cider Jus, chorizo northern bean cassoulet & brussel sprouts

4th COURSE
S’MORES CRÈME BRULE & MAPLE CANDIED BACON
cardamom marshmallow cream, chocolate graham cracker

Featured Bench Creek Brewing Beers

  • Naked Woodsman Pale Ale
  • White Raven IPA
  • Northern Grace RRIPA
  • Black Spruce Porter
  • Drexl – Imperial Stout (February’s Villain)

Recipe: YESS Holiday Pork Loin in Mushroom Bechamel Sauce

 

We are getting in the holiday spirit with our friends at Edmonton’s Youth Empowerment Support Services (YESS)!

We spent some time with Tiffany Sorensen, YESS‘ red seal chef and acting kitchen supervisor this week to bring you one of her favourite holiday recipes featuring our very own Alberta Pork.

YESS offers support to youth who don’t fit into other Edmonton services. By offering age-appropriate programs, housing, and opportunities for education, YESS serves youth who fall into a gap age not otherwise visible. The team work tirelessly to give Edmonton’s vulnerable youth the best opportunity, and that often includes a healthy meal.

Tiffany and her team do not have a budget for the meals that they provide youth at YESS, so they rely solely on donations from the community to sustain their cupboards and kitchen. We all know the struggle of creating a meal with what’s leftover in the fridge, but this challenge is taken to a whole new level for these chefs who’s creativity knows no bounds.

Although we’ve made a few trips with Alberta Pork to drop off product for YESS, this time we had the pleasure to get the inside look at their kitchen, and feature a dish that Tiffany created with some Alberta pork loins.

We hope that you show YESS some love this holiday season, to find out more or to donate visit https://yess.org/ways-to-give/donate/

 

YESS! Holiday Pork Loin in Mushroom Bechamel Sauce

Serves 4, (we had to alter a bit as the YESS recipe involves 2 full pork loins and feeds about 25-30!!)

Ingredients

  • 1, 1 pound Pork Loin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Parsley
  • 3 Tbsp Thyme
  • 4 Garlic Cloves sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Lemons (sliced)
  • 1 8 ounce package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Butter

Mushroom Bechamel Sauce:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups milk

 

Preparation

Prepare your pork loin by patting it dry, and seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste. Place the loins on a bed of herbs (we chose parley and thyme). Make small cuts into the meat and insert your slivers of garlic. Sprinkle the loin with any leftover spices, salt and pepper, garlic and lemon slices.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour (we recommend checking the temperature of your pork at 45 mins so it doesn’t dry out), let your loin rest. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your loin and refer to our cooking tips for more information on cooking pork.

While your pork loin is in the oven you’re going to make your bechamel sauce. Saute your quartered mushrooms in butter and season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan, and add more butter into your pan to make a roux with flour. Stir your butter and flour together on medium heat until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy colour (about 6-7 mins). Be careful not to burn the flour. Once your roux is done slowly whisk in milk or heavy cream. Cook until thick and smooth and season with salt, pepper, herbs and nutmeg. Once your sauce is done (taste to test) add your mushrooms back in and stir it all together.

After your loin has rested cut it into slices and top with the mushroom bechamel sauce. Garnish and serve to your hungry guests!

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20-30 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins

Recipe: Charcut’s Al Pastor Tacos

For the past three years, Charcut chefs Connie Desousa & John Jackson have been presenting at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge‘s Christmas in November.

This year, the duo shared latin-inspired dishes from their Charbar menu, including an innovative way to cook al pastor tacos. The dish, which originates from central Mexico, was inspired by shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Marinated pork is layered on a vertical spit and topped with a pineapple – as the meat rotates and cooks with the fat and juices slowly dripping down, slices of cooked meat are sliced off for taco time.


While I’ve eaten many an Al Pastor pork taco at restaurants or food trucks, I’ve never tried to make al pastor tacos at home because I don’t have a rotisserie. But that will all change thanks to chef Connie & John’s al pastor taco hack that uses a loaf pan.

My Mexico Al Pastor Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Charcut chefs Connie Desousa & John Jackson

1/4 pineapple, peeled
1/4 onion, white or yellow, sliced
1 Tbsp guajillo chile powder
1/2 garlic clove
1 Tbsp line juice
1 Tbsp pineapple juice
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
pinch dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
pinch ground cumin
1/2 small chipotle chiles
1/4 – 1/2 tsp adobo from canned chipotle chiles
350 ground boneless Alberta Pork loin
230 g ground chorizo sausage, raw
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
25 corn tortillas, small – 3-4 ”
1/4 lbs butter diced in bowl
to taste – Vellentina or Frank’s hot sauce
12 limes, Mexican cut wedges

Taco Meat Preparation
Slice pork loin into thin medallions about 1 cm thick. Marinade pork medallions in pineapple and lime juice, salt, oregano, cumin garlic cloves, and chilli powder.

On a rotisserie spit or in a loaf pan, layer the pork and sausage meat pressing to flatten out as you layer. Once completed, top the with peeled pineapple. Cook over medium heat on rotisserie or in an oven at 350F until internal temperature is 155F. Remove and rest on sheet pan for 15 minutes.

To Assemble Taco
Add hot sauce and butter to small pot and heat until butter melts. Whisk until emulsified. Heat corn tortillas in pan with small amount of butter and when hot remove and set on plate covered with damp towel so it does not dry out.

Assemble garnish in small bowls, sliced onion, lime wedges, pickled cilantro, and hot sauce. Right before serving slice the meat thinly kebab style again the grain. Serve while still hot along with the hot sauce, garnishes and tortillas.