Epicured Events: Sausage Making Class

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You know what beats a dinner party? A hands-on culinary adventure where you learn how to do something you never expected to be able to do: a sausage making class. That’s right. My partner and I headed out to Epicured Events in east Austin to make, eat, and drink. Well, I mostly showed up to drink.

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With a cold beverage in hand, I watched as our chef, Ben, doled out the workload, and gave us entertaining yet useful cooking tips. (I was successful in avoiding work, which is something I pride myself on.)

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We prepped fresh ingredients (well, everyone but me), and sampled our “test batches” (I pitched in for that part) of the Italian sausage and bratwurst links that we were ultimately going to make.

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You can tell a lot about people by how many penis jokes they make in a sausage making class. Clearly, we were an exceptional group of 6th graders disguised as sensible adults. Chef Ben kept a straight face for 90% of it, and we could tell he’d heard it all before.

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The sausage came out perfect, and we came out stuffed (and buzzed). It was hilarious, delicious, informative, and most of all: fun. I’d gladly re-take this class any day of the week. If you’re looking for something new to do: this is it.

Beer Pairing: Central Market + Brooklyn Brewery

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Nothing says summer quite like burgers and beer, but Central Market decided to take it one step further with a multi-course beer pairing featuring selections from the acclaimed Brooklyn Brewery.

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It was admittedly my first time at the Central Market Cooking School, but I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. We were provided with menus, recipes, and an in-depth guide to the beer that we were about to sample. First course: Grapefruit, Asparagus & Pecorino Salad paired with Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55. The Brooklyn Brewery representative, a very experienced brew master, mentioned that this beer was English-style, and my English partner agreed.

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Next up, we learned how to prepare Lobster Chorizo Pasta. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s lobster that is cooked alongside chorizo, and not some mysterious, new seafood-sausage dish. The beer for this plate was the Local 1, a delicious Belgian-style beer that’s fermented inside the bottle (like Champagne!). This was probably my favorite thing both food and drink-wise of the night.

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After further stuffing ourselves with burgers and Brooklyn Summer Ale, we moved on to a presentation on how to prepare Lamb Scottadito, meanwhile learning the proper way to taste beer between each plate.

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The lamb was served with a dark, brown ale; a contrast to the East India Pale Ale that we were about to sample both inside and outside of our crepes.

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The final course came around, and surprisingly we didn’t explode before it arrived. The crepes themselves had beer as an ingredient, and we were taught the short, but painstaking process it takes to prepare such a delicate dish. The beer proved to not be painfully hoppy, which was a pleasant surprise. If you’d like to catch one of these dinners near you, be sure to check out Central Market’s website. And if you don’t have a Central Market nearby, you’re still sure to have easy access to a delicious array of Brooklyn Brewery beers.

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