Pub Magazine | Your Guide to Ontario's Best Pubs

Boozy Maple Syrup & Apple Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

On the last issue of The Pub Magazine I featured a recipe with beer for a dessert… so why not live dangerously and do a recipe with beer for breakfast?!
Ok, so maybe not so dangerously… I am pretty sure there are some of you who have had beer for breakfast first thing in the morning *wink wink*

I toyed around with a couple of versions of this syrup since sometimes dark ales can turn quite bitter when you try cooking with them, especially when making reductions which are a much more concentrated flavour.

I have to say I was a little hesitant as I tasted this beer for the first time since I tend to lean more towards white beer and quite often find dark ales and porters to be palate intimidating.

Hints of roasted malt, caramel and maple, not as strong as I suspected it to be. I found it easy to drink, with a sweet mild finish so probably a great introduction into the dark side…of ales, that is ;)
Finally settled on this syrup recipe which turned out to be quite simple & easy to do!

Rickard's Dark Boozy Maple Syrup

  • 1 – 473 ml (16 oz) Rickard's Dark
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup (optional)*

Using a heavy bottom sauce pan, over med-high heat, bring beer and brown sugar to a boil while stirring regularly. Turn heat to med-low and allow beer to reduce until mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency, about 35 minutes.

Remove from heat and mount sauce with cold butter until all the butter melts.
This will give your syrup a beautiful velvety sheen.
*I liked the syrup without the maple addition since the brown sugar gave it enough caramel sweetness but adding a splash of maple syrup just rounded the flavours quite nicely.
This syrup also turned out to be quite nice for glazing pork, salmon, tuna or chicken.

Apple Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 cup quick cooking Oats
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 grated apple

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, oats and cinnamon.
In separate bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk and melted butter then add to dry ingredients and mix just until just combined. Add grated apple last and mix just enough to incorporate.

Heat a skillet over med heat; brush with vegetable oil. Pour in batter into desired size for each pancake. Cook until edges start to crisp up, underside is golden and bubbles pop on top. Turn and cook for an additional minute or so.


It’s the middle of the year, it’s hot, it’s humid…it’s Summer.
And on hot summer days, some think tall frosty beers, other go for refreshing ice cream.

In my case, I go for both.

I have made Stout Ice Cream before so I thought to experiment again with a different style of beer.

Rickard’s Blonde is a German-style Pilsner specially crafted with a unique blend of four hops. It has a very refreshing and flavourful taste with a nice clean finish.
Its floral notes & beautiful golden colour made me think, why not make something sweet with it?

But for those of you who prefer to drink your beer rather than lick it or cook with it, Rickard’s Blonde lively hop character provides the perfect complement to white meats and sausages as well as a great pairing for spicy dishes.

This recipe is quite simple & easy to make, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker.

Rickard’s Blonde Hoppy Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup table cream
  • 1 bottle Rickard’s Blonde

Mix egg yolks and sugar in a medium size mixing bowl whisking until pale yellow. Combine creams in a heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a full boil.
Remove from heat and slowly pour over the sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, add beer to custard, whisking frequently, until it thickens.
Do not let it boil or the custard will be ruined.

Once thickened, remove from heat. Pour through a strainer into a mixing bowl set over ice and whisk until cool.Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

As an added bonus, I made some praline beer nuts which I crushed in the food processor & added to the ice cream mixture at the end while folding lightly, then into an airtight freezer container, leaving at least ½ inch on top for freezing expansion. Cover and place the container in the freezer and allow the ice cream to freeze until firm.

You can also just crush your favourite type of beer nut, peanuts, candies nuts, etc then sprinkle on top of ice cream before serving.

Freezing without an Ice Cream Maker

This simple freezing process is referred to as a "still freezing" method because the ice cream is not stirred continually throughout the freezing of the ice cream mixture.

After chilling, stir the mixture well then transfer to a freezer safe bowl or container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight cover.               
Place the container in the freezer and allow the mixture to freeze for 2 hours.
Remove from the freezer and beat with a hand mixer or food processor to break up ice crystals that are beginning to form or place & blend well.Cover and place back in the freezer.
Freeze for 2 more hours and then remove from the freezer and beat again. The ice cream should be thick but too soft to scoop.

Pour into a plastic airtight freezer container. Be sure to leave at least ½ inch space for freezing expansion.Cover and place the container in the freezer and allow the ice cream to freeze until firm.


Back in January I was invited by my friend Mary Luz Mejia, from Sizzling Communications, to attend a very special dinner at The Old Prune Restaurant in Stratford. The dinner was hosted by Kimberley Payne and the Stratford Chef School, the special resident chef series guest was Alexandre Gauthier, a young talented French Chef with an impressive pedigree.

His Michelin Star restaurant is La Grenouillére in Montreuil-sur-Mer, France.
So needless to say, my immediate response was “Maisoui’!

This was a fantastic experience for our budding Canadian Chefs who got the chance to learn new techniques from a world renowned chef.
Kudos to the Stratford Chef School for providing their studentswith an amazing hands on experience. And of course,also a great opportunity for me to sample Chef Gauthier’s cuisine.

Among his many delectable dishes was an amazing soup, “Purée de Haricots Blancs, Foie Gras &Beurred’ail”. In other words, a silky White Bean Puree with Garlic Croutons &Fois Gras that was utterly delicious.

So, in keeping with my little column’s Rickard’s Beer recipes, I decided to create my own soup with a very user friendly version of his.
Rickard’s White is an unfiltered wheat ale in the style of a Belgian White.  It’s creamy & light-medium bodied with a hint of citrus & coriander.
This refreshing & smooth finish beer was the other inspiration for this recipe.

Serves 4

Rickard’s “Double White” Bean Soup

  • 1 cup sliced leeks (whites only)
  • 1 med Onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 med Yukon Gold Potato, peeled & cubed
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 cups dry Navy Beans
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup Rickard’s White Beer
  • 1/2 cup 35% cream
  • 1/2 tsp Orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon zest
  • 1 sprig fresh Thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley & cilantro, chopped
  • White Pepper & Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Chorizo, cooked & crumbled for garnish

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil & butter to a low medium heat. Add whole garlic cloves, chopped onion & leeks, sauté until soft & translucent.
Add potatoes, navy beans& thyme sprig, stir well. Then add Rickard’s White, chicken stock & adjust with a bit of water if necessary to make sure bean mixture is well covered.

Bring to a boil, then lower hear & simmer for 30-40 minutes until both beans & potatoes are soft. Puree with an immersion blender, food processor until smooth.
Return to a medium heat then add cream, zest, parsley & cilantro. Season with white pepper & sea salt to taste.
Garnish with crumbled chorizo & a swirl of White truffle Oil or good quality Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Serve with a nice slice of French baguette & a cold glass of Rickard’s White!

The Happy Cooker . Rickard’s Dark Chicken Pot Party

If man can walk on the moon, and Hugh Heffner can marry a twenty-four year old, then PubMaggers can make Chicken Pot Pie - from scratch! Why not? It’s a bright new year, and anything’s possible. Simply crack open two cans of Richard’s Dark and remember Julia Child’s guiding philosophy:  One for me, one for the pot (pie)!  Rickard’s Dark is a rich and creamy beer with a delicious hint of Quebec Maple Syrup. If flavours had their own day of the week, I think maple would have to be Sunday. It’s the Great Canadian Taste that pairs well with hardwood fires, snow days and TV- PJ parties. This recipe is all about comfort. Just a thought: Make Saturday. Bake Sunday. The longer you let the filling sit, the more flavourful it will be.

Yield: Feeds 2 shut-ins for a whole day of Soccer, football and/or “Coronation Street”. Can also be served during hockey - or the complete boxed set of “the Tudors”. Alternatively, will feed 6-8 people with normal appetites and behavioral routines.


  • 8 rashers of maple flavoured naturally smoked bacon, (cut in half lengthwise, then dice)
  • 3 glugs olive oil
  • 3 – 4 chicken breasts, no skin or bone; cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups Rickard’s Dark beer, plus one full can for the chef
  • Stock: 5 cups water and 2 Knorr “Homestyle” concentrated chicken stock bouillons
  • 1 huge knob of butter split into two big knobs of butter, unsalted
  • 3 leeks, sliced (discard dark green woody parts)
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic (why not, it’s flu season)
  • 1-2 chili peppers, minced, or 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 splash maple syrup or honey
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tbsp for *** beurre manie (see below)
  • 1/4 cup 35% cream  
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cups of sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley OR coriander leaves, chopped
  • About 10-15 parsley OR coriander stalks, minced
  • 1 pkg puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Now What?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Over medium heat, get a pot or Dutch oven hot; add 3 tbsps of olive oil and bacon. Cook bacon until fat is rendered, and just starting to crisp. Add chicken, salt (not too much) and pepper, then cook until done. Not ½-done; not ¾ done; but done-done. Remove chicken and bacon with slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the lovely leeks, and cook until soft; Add a big knob of butter. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot. The leek juice will help lift up all of the sticky bacon-bits. Add garlic, chili, and minced herb stalks and cook for a few minutes.  
  • Sprinkle the top with flour. Add 2 cups Rickard’s Dark, a splash of maple syrup, stir everything together and let cook for a few minutes. Add water and stock bullions. Bring to a boil and let thicken.
  • Add carrots, celery and sweet potato. Add chicken and bacon; Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost fork-tender. Stir in 35% cream. Turn off heat, and then stir in herb leaves.
  • Correct seasoning (add more salt or pepper or hot sauce, if you like); Correct consistency, if need be. If you would like it thicker (and lump-free), make a *** beurre manie (fancy French term for smushing together 1 tbsp each of flour and softened butter with your fingers); bring back to a rapid simmer, stir in butter and flour and wait for desired thickness.
  • Egg wash: crack an egg into a bowl; beat it with a fork. 
  • Prepare individual oven-proof bowls. Ladle in the chicken pot pie filling.
  • For the pastry: Go to your local supermarket and buy it, frozen. Thaw, unravel, sprinkle with some flour. Divide into squares. Using a cookie cutter, cut a maple leaf (or cut 3 slits) into the middle of each square. Brush the edges of each bowl with egg wash, and then place the dough on top.  For extra brownie points, take the cutout shape and position it above the hole. Trim the dough to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough, folding it over the side and pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough – and the cutout - with egg wash. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-minutes to 1 hour or until puff pastry is golden brown, your home smells like heaven-on-earth, and the filling is bubble, bubble toil and trouble.

Cheers - and happy cooking. 

Love at First Bite Burgers

Sometimes I get lucky enough to have gorgeous sunny weather on my day off. It was the perfect time for eating outdoors so I picked up fresh buns from a local bakery to go with beautiful heirloom tomatoes, red onions & lettuce that I had purchased from the Farmer’s Market. My son had friends over, so what better time & tasters than hungry youngsters on a sunny day?


  • 1 Lb ground beef, preferably chuck
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tsp Mustard
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 2 Onions thinly sliced
  • Ѕ Cup Cider vinegar
  • 1 Can / Bottle Rickard’s Red, room temperature
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil

The Sauce
Heat up oil in a heavy-bottomed saut? pan on medium heat & add onions, salt & pepper to taste. Stirring occasionally, sautй onions until soft & translucent. Reduce heat & cook until golden brown in colour, then add the Rickard’s Red & cider vinegar & continue cooking until completely caramelized. Add ketchup, brown sugar & mustard. Mix well & cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

The Burgers
Preheat barbecue on HIGH, and oil the grids generously to avoid sticking. Season the beef with salt and pepper and divide into four equal portions. Gently shape into patties similar in shape and size to the buns you will be serving, using your thumb to create an indent in the centre of one side. Place the patties on the grill, and reduce heat to medium. Grill approximately six minutes per side, taking care not to press down on the meat (unless you have a thing against juicy burgers). Serve with your

Rickard’s Red BBQ sauce.
Rickard’s Red is a rich dark ale with sweet caramel undertones & no strong aftertaste so there was none of that bitterness sometimes found when cooking with some beers. After caramelizing the onions & deglazing the pan with Rickard’s Red, the sauce turned a gorgeous bright coppery red with a nice gloss.
It was the perfect choice for the BBQ sauce!

Brown Buttered Gnocchi with Garlic, Sage and Manchego topped with Enoki Mushroom Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp grated Manchego sheep’s milk cheese

First cook the pasta and set aside. Melt the butter in a hot pan. Add the garlic and cook until you see the butter just starting to color at the edges. Stir in the sage and pull from the heat. Pour over the pasta and toss with the Manchego.

Enoki Mushroom Salad (goes on top on the pasta)


  • 1 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Manchego cheese, grated
  • 1 bunch Enoki mushrooms, cut to 2”
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch Fleur de Sel

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Toss very gently with your hands. No more than 3 passes in the bowl. Serve immediately topped on pasta.

This exciting recipe was created by Grand Chef Jonathan Gushu of Relais & Chateaux property to complement the Innis & Gunn beer. It is a simple to make recipe that is sure to please even the toughest critique and best of all it looks great! It takes about 30min to prep and cook which makes this a perfect dish for any surprise get together or to make after work without much trouble! The only changes that I would make are substituting the gnocchi with angel hair pasta; because I found that the gnocchi was too heavy for this light and full of flavor recipe. Also make sure you don’t use more than one tbsp of white balsamic vinegar because the acid can get a little over whelming if you use too much!  

I guarantee that your taste buds will be in over drive with all the different flavors from this dish. The dish brings out the hint of whiskey flavor in the beer along with the aged oak taste and it keeps the beer upfront. The key components to this recipe are the Monchego and sage, Tina from the Pub Magazine called it “the perfect recipe for the Innis & Gunn”!  Hope you enjoy this dish as much as the staff at Pub Magazine and I did! Bon Appetite!

Special thanks to Longo Brother’s Fruit Markets Inc for providing The Pub Magazine with all the ingredients needed to create this recipe!