P.B.B.J Burger/Evil Czech Nefarious Harbor/Pallbearer “Fear & Fury”
Evil Czech Brewery in Mishawaka, Indiana has been on or radar for years, mostly because we do have some Czech roots. We still haven’t gotten there but we did the next best thing tonight by making one of their house burgers, their P.B.B.J burger that combines smoked gouda, house pickled jalapeños, house-made peanut butter and a homemade bourbon bacon blackberry jam. We paired it up ECB’s Nefarious Harbor New England-style IPA for a big burger and beer combination. For the tunes, we cranked up the melodic doom of Pallbearer’s “Fear & Fury”.
P.B.B.J Burger – There are a lot of homemade condiments in this burger, none of them are terribly difficult although a couple need time to make. First we’ll start with the homemade pickled jalapeños. Odd as it may sound, fresh jalapeños are one of our favorite foods on the planet, store bought pickled jalapeños however are way down on our list. These homemade quick-pickled jalapeños have just enough sour but still pack a bunch of fresh flavor and crispness. All we do is load up a small mason jar with sliced jalapeños and cover with rice wine vinegar, give it a quick shake and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Drain the grease from the pan then to the same pan we add 2 cups of bourbon and let the booze simmer. Once the bourbon is heated, add the browned bacon back to the pan along with a couple of tablespoons of real maple syrup.
The mixture will need to cook down for about an hour, so as that’s happening we can knock out the peanut butter. In a food processor we pour in 2 cups of roasted peanuts, 1 tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth and chunky adding more oil if necessary.
Before we can start making the burger, we need to finish off the bacon jam by adding a heaping tablespoon of blackberry preserves to the cooked down and concentrated bacon and bourbon mixture.
Now we can place a patty on a pretzel bun and top with the bacon jam and jalapeños.
The peanut butter gets spread on the top half and this bastion of salty, spicy and sweet is ready to be devoured. As much as we’ve shunned peanut butter on a burger up until this day, it’s absolutely a requirement in this recipe and really makes the burger.
Evil Czech Brewing Neafrious Harbor – We haven’t seen any ECB beers in stores in the Chicago area yet, but thankfully we were able pick some up in Indy when we there on a stop through recently. We went with their New England-style IPA Nefarious Harbor which pours orange and cloudy though not as hazy as most in this style category. The nose is well balanced between malt and hops which also plays out in the taste department while also imparting that trademarked sweet flavor most NE IPAs share. It’s a big hop bite and with its 7+abv, thick mouthfeel and boozy finish it’s a big beer. This was a flawless beer and burger combo with both posessing with some sweet and some bite.
Pallbearer “Fear & Fury” – Arkansas’ Pallbearer has developed a huge following with their accessible brand of melodic doom that combines huge crushing riffs with amazing soaring vocals. Their 2016 EP “Fear & Fury” is just a small example of this killer combination and it comes together perfectly on the title track, which is not only the best song in the band’s catalog but also one of our favorite songs spanning the entire doom genre. “Over & Over” slows things down even more while the vocals get more clean and melodic; it could almost be consider a ballad if it wasn’t so heavy. The closing track “Love You to Death” is a little more atmospheric, with some prog and grunge notes tossed into their 7+ minute epic. The band also dropped the new single “Dropout” earlier this year which one can only hope a new album is on its way.