Midday Fix: Details on the First Responders Chefs Recipe Challenge, Baked Beer Fries and Balsamic Beer Braised Pork

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Firefighter and Paramedic Tatiana Matkowskyj

-Tatiana is a Firefighter and Paramedic in Winfield, IL and Paramedic in Leyden, IL


2nd Annual First Responder Chefs Recipe Challenge, Joe’s Bar on Weed Street, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., 940 W. Weed Street, Chicago, IL

Live Music by The Pheromones. Tickets are $9.11 each and include drink tickets. Family-friendly event.  Sponsored by the First In Foundation.  All recipes must include Old Style Beer.


Baked Beer Fries

 – 2 large russet potatoes, cut into fries

– 1 – 12 oz can of Old Style Beer

– 2 tsp of olive oil

– 1 tbsl of garlic powder

– 1 tsp paprika

– 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper for some added kick

– salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch thick cut fries, do not remove skin. Soak in Old Style Beer for 1-2 hours, fully submerged.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  3. Remove fries from Old Style Beer, shaking off any excess, and move to another bowl. Toss in garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil until evenly coated. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and spread evenly with the least amount of overlap possible.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and crispy. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.


 Balsamic Beer Braised Pork

 – 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

–  4 pound boneless pork butt roast

– 12 ounces Old Style Beer

– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Aged balsamic gives it a richer flavor if available)

– 2 teaspoons salt

– 2 teaspoons black pepper

– 2 teaspoon garlic powder

– 2 teaspoons oregano

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
  2. In a dutch oven (or an oven safe heavy bottomed pan with tight-fitting lid), heat oil over medium-medium high heat.
  3. When oil is rippling, brown pork roast a couple of minutes on each side.
  4. Whisk together Old Style beer, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and brown sugar; pour over pork roast.

5.  Cover and bake in 450-degree F oven for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 300-degrees F and continue to bake for another 2 hours and 45 minutes.



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