So now back to the alcohol boiling off rate and this goes for any alcohol – not just the beer included in this recipe:
Alcohol, chemically speaking is a relative low boiler. It boils off at 173°F whereas water boils at 212°F but this doesn’t mean that it all boils off during the cooking process as is a widely popular belief as I learned in this article.
Now, you might think from this that if you cooked the thing long enough, eventually the alcohol will all get cooked out and from a practical standpoint, this is more or less true. But if you are ever cooking for or are a recovering alcoholic, you’ll want to know, it’s not really true. There will always be some alcohol remaining as long as there is still any kind of moisture in whatever you are cooking. The reason behind this is that the alcohol binds with water and forms an azeotrope (mixture of two or more compounds where the ratio cannot be changed by simple distillation). So as you boil the azeotrope, the ratio of alcohol in the compound stays the same throughout the boiling process. So you will always retain some alcohol, unless you boil off all the liquid.
Pub Style Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
- 6 slices of bacon
- 2 lbs ground beef, lean
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
- 3/4 cup hot cherry peppers, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock, store-bought or homemade
- 1 12-ounce bottle dark ale, or your favorite brew
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 16 ounces aged cheddar, grated
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup Kosher Dill pickles, chopped
- 2 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted for croutons, optional garnish
- In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat until it is very crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Once it cools, crumble it and set it aside.
- Meanwhile. in a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, continuously stirring, until the roux turns a very light blonde in color, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, beer and half-and-half and bring to a simmer, whisking often, over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until you notice the sauce has finished thickening and coats the back of a spoon.
- While the soup base is thickening, brown the ground beef and onion in a pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Once cooked, thoroughly drain the fat and set aside.
- When the soup base has finished thickening, add the cheddar cheese shreds to the base sauce, whisking until smooth. Next, add the Worcestershire, salt and black pepper (to taste) and mustard stirring to combine. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking by adding more mustard, Worcestershire, salt and/or pepper. Then add, the bacon, ground beef mixture, dill pickles and hot pickled peppers.
- Garnish with some reserved dill pickle chips, bacon crumbles, shredded cheese, raw diced onions and croutons, if desired.
If you are not into drinking or cooking with beer, feel free to omit it from this dish.