Crock of Beer Chili

Rise early, fire up that cooktop + start chopping. Those flavors will come together deliciously for the weekend. This recipe has one bottle IPA beer, by all means use your favorite  micro-brew. I always advise, only use what you would drink! 


This basic chili recipe combines several flavors of the Southwest.  Turkey and pork can be substituted for beef. Make it vegetarian by using eggplant, squash, and extra onion in place of the meat.

IPA Chili  

Makes 6- 8 servings | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 pounds sirloin or chuck - cut into 1/2 inch pieces; or a ground beef combo

4 slices maple cured bacon, chopped

10 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup sweet onion, chopped

4 scallions, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 fresh serrano chili pepper, chopped

1 Tablespoon each: cumin, oregano, basil and thyme

1 teaspoon cinnamon

12 ounces of good IPA

2 cups canned plum tomatoes with juice, chopped

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1 16-ounce can of red beans, rinsed and drained

2 Tablespoons cilantro

Pre heat a large soup pot over medium high heat.

Add bacon and allow bacon to get a light golden color. Add garlic, onion, olive oil, scallions, jalapenos, serrano, and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add beef and cook until becomes lightly browned.  Drain off any excess fat. Season with cumin, oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes, and cinnamon. 

Add beer and reduce liquid for one minute, add tomatoes and vinegar. 

Lower temperature to a gentle simmer. Stir, cover pot and cook for 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Add beans and cook for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. 

Honey Glazed

Bake a Winner!


Ham cooking rule of thumb = 325 degrees F. at 25 minutes per pound or follow package instructions.

Estimate needing 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound of bone-in ham per person, or 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of boneless ham.

Fully cooked hams can be served as is, but they'll taste better if glazed and roasted to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

George’s Honeyed Ham Glaze Recipe

Makes enough glaze for a medium size ham | George Hirsch Lifestytle

1 cup honey

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons orange juice

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon ginger, minced

1 Tablespoon orange zest

Mix all ingredients together in small pot, bring up to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. Pour over ham as a glaze 15-20 minutes before removing from oven. Baste every five minutes, remove from oven and cool slightly. 

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Carnevale di Venezia has begun. No worries if you can’t make it there by sundown, Venice is the most magical city in the world - any time of the year. I am amazed at Venice's centuries old inner workings and how the most simplest of tasks even happen. Have you ever stopped and watched a truck making deliveries? Now, just imagine it all done via boat, no autos. What's not to love; the people, the art, the food, the vaporettos. Ahh, the Venice way of life.  

Venice Carnival Mask, image George Hirsch

Venice Carnival Mask, image George Hirsch

The Carnival of Venice is the most internationally known festival outside of Fat Tuesday’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans. However the celebration in Venice, Italy is one of the oldest. This congregation of masked people, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century.

Venice Grand Canal, image George Hirsch

Venice Grand Canal, image George Hirsch

Historically, the streets of Venice during Carnival are full of people in masks, with no differentiation made between nobility and the common people. Generally, the costume worn was a cloak with a long-nosed mask. Also popular were masked couples, where a man and a woman would dress as allegorical characters. In the squares, street-artists and singers entertain with songs and music.

The gastronomy of Carnival was originally rich in fats with foods such as gnocchi, tortellini, lasagna and pastries; such as Galani. The purpose; use up all those forbidden foods like eggs, fat and sugar before the Lenten season began. Party, consume and repeat. 



Galani, is also known as fried ribbons, bow ties or angel wings in the U.S. The ribbons of sweet pasta dough are fried and covered with sugar or honey. It takes on different names throughout central Europe including; chrusciki, krusczyk, frappe, frappole, sfrappole, flappe, cenci, crustci, donzelli, crostoli, galani in Veneto, lattughe, nastri delle suore, bugie, and gigi. No matter what you call them - they are addictive. 

Here's my recipe for Galani, aka Angel Wings.