Rhubarb-Ginger Wheat Beer Jam

Okay... I know it sounds a little weird.  Rhubarb + beer = jam... what???  Actually this turned out completely divine.  For those of you who steer clear of the spirits, let me reassure you that the alcohol cooks out, I mean really cooks out, what remains after 215ºF is the most fantastic array of flavors.  Sweet and sour with a little of that malted wheat and barley flavor in the background.  It is divine, and I am not exaggerating!

As I was cooking this up, my mind kept wandering to what it would compliment and one word seemed to stick out: PORK!  I bought a half of a pasture raised organic butchered pig from Clifford Family Farm last fall.  I never thought we would eat through it all.  Let me tell you... this pig has been delicious!  My family has eagerly gobbled it down and we are looking forward to purchasing another this fall.  (Don't you love knowing your farmer and how your food was grown?  I do!)  I pressure cooked a little pork roast with cinnamon and chipotle spices and shredded that little piggy to make shredded pork tacos.  A little shredded lettuce, some crispy spring onions sauteed in olive oil, avocado, lime salt, and a little bit of this jam spread over the top...

Oh... My... Stars!!!

I'm drooling...

So, so, good.

That's my story.  Rhubarb, ginger, raspberry wheat beer meet shredded pork tacos.  You should try it.  You will be so happy!!!

adapted from Paul Virant's The Preservation Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2012)

3 pounds fresh rhubarb, diced
3 cups Wasatch Brewery's Raspberry Wheat Beer (a little local happiness!)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons should do the trick)
Juice of 1 lemon
2-inch piece of ginger peeled

In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days (I did this early in the morning and then finished my jam later that evening - about 6 hours refrigeration is sufficient).

Strain the mixture through a sieve and into a wide, heavy-bottomed pot (save the rhubarb for later). Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reaches 215°, about 12 minutes. Return the rhubarb to the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the jam lightly coats the back of a spoon and its temperature has returned to 215°, 10 to 15 minutes.  Scoop out the piece of ginger. 

In a large pot of simmering water, sterilize seven ½-pint jars. Once the jam is finished, use tongs to remove the jars from the pot and set upside down on a kitchen towel to drain. Turn off the heat and soak the lids and bands in the hot water. Turn the jars upright and pour the jam through a funnel to fill each jar with jam up to ½ inch from the rim. Wipe the rims clean with a kitchen towel and seal with the lids. Screw on the bands until snug.

Place a canning rack into the pot of hot water and return to a boil. Use tongs to lower the jam-filled jars into the pot, making sure there is enough water to cover the jars by 1 inch. Boil the jars for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Leave the jars in the hot water for 5 minutes, then use tongs to remove them. Cool completely before storing in a cool, dark, dry place.


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