Irish Stout Hot Wings

20130406 wings-1
20130406 wings-1

One of the things I like best in the world is good Buffalo hot sauce.  Something with serious kick, but also well-rounded flavor – not simply burn for the sake of burning.  Last year, I experienced some of the best Buffalo wings of my life (and vegetarian ones at that!) and since then, I've made it my mission to perfect a blend of elements, and create my ideal wing sauce.

After months of experimentation, I finally nailed it.  One of the key elements that was eluding me until now was using a bit of stout to round out the flavor, and add the depth and richness to offset the pure heat of the pepper.

10 oz. red pepper hot sauce (2 small bottles.  My preferred brand is Scoville Food Institute.)

6 oz. or 1/2 bottle Irish stout

1 tbsp dried minced onion

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2/3 cup butter / margarine

1/2 cup flax meal

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Pinch of sea salt

Heat the sauces in a small saucepan.  Once warmed, add the stout and other ingredients, stirring all the while.  Pour the stout in slowly, so it doesn't foam over...  And pay particular attention to make sure the butter melts completely, and the yeast doesn't end up as lumps around the bottom of the pan.  Leave the heat low, as you don't want the sauce to come to a full boil.

Once all ingredients are combined and have simmered for a few minutes, dip in a cracker and taste (CAREFULLY, lest set your tongue on fire).  If needed, add another tablespoon of brown sugar, or another pinch of salt to achieve the perfect balance of burn and flavor.  Once that's done, turn off heat, and set aside to cool and thicken.

Prepare wings (or vegetarian substitute) by pan-frying until  slightly crispy.  Then lower heat, and spoon on enough sauce to cover the wings.  Cook for about 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Once things have cooked down so that the sauce is dark, thick, and clumped at the bottom of the pan, and all the wings are coated in a light layer of spice (and it no longer looks like red soup with wings floating in it, but like actual Buffalo wings), you're ready to turn off the stove and eat.

Serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing on the side as a dipping sauce, and have some salad, bread or tortilla chips on hand  in case you need something to keep your mouth from spontaneously combusting.