Heineken kicked off the beginning of summer the only way they know how: with beer, meat, and music.
Meat and beer. Can you think of a better combination? On Wednesday June 22, 2016 I had the opportunity to attend Heineken Light’s summer kick-off party with food prepared by social guest Pat LaFrieda, owner of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. The outdoor garden-style party was held on the deck of The Pennsy–and next to Pat’s storefront. While not secluded, the location provided a lively and thriving atmosphere during the busy weekday evening.
Guests were prompted to enjoy a can of the new Heineken Light while the beer provider’s new commercial–featuring Neil Patrick Harris–played on iPads at each table. On the patio, Pat and his helpers cooked up delicious blends of meat and sauces including juicy hamburger sliders, Heineken Light marinated chicken, and tomahawk steak cooked to perfection. The meal would not have been complete without LaFrieda’s Heineken hollandaise sauce drizzled atop the meat. Also on the menu: balsamic grilled portobello mushrooms with scallions, grilled corn on the cob with lime crema, house made potato salad, and celery root slaw.
Catch the interview with famed meat purveyor and man of the hour Pat LaFrieda below!
Can you tell a little bit about your partnership with Heineken?
Yes. I think it is a beer that, since my first day of having a beer, a beer that I drank and for me it’s the best flavor. So for me, now that we’re in an age where we’re watching our calories, Heineken Light…it’s the only beer that doesn’t taste watered down. We have a lot of Heineken we’re both tasting it together after, but it’s the one that doesn’t taste like beer and water to get the carbs down or to get the calories down. So, 99 always struck a chord with me. So, 99 calories for a beer, when a small piece of food has the same amount, and at the same time we’re drinking beer because we want to taste that flavor, for someone like myself who’s all about flavor, it’s our home beer. So, we took it a step further. Since we have a lot of marinades in our industry that are alcohol based, a lot of those…So the alcohol cooks off and you’re left with the flavor, especially white wines. Substituting an old trick, and I’m kind of giving up the secret, substituting wine and Heineken Light and you can still taste the pops after, has been a game changer for us. So, they win their awards we win our awards in food.
Great. So what would you say are your favorite summer recipes? Especially paired with Heineken.
Most people think that because I am a meat purveyor that I would only want to eat meat with no sauce. You know, just like anything else, that gets old. I want flavors. I want to bring something to the meat, something to pair it with. One of my favorite sauces is bearnaise. So, tonight we made a version of bearnaise using hollandaise instead of using white wine which is phenomenal. So then put that on a tomahawk meat. It’s a little challenging to make a hollandaise or bearnaise sauce because you don’t want to overcook the egg. Maybe you could get past that and have a double-boiler. It’s fairly easy. It’s just really whipping.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Yes. We published our book last year. It sold out three times on Amazon. And it was published by Atria Books which is part of Simon & Schuster. And we are currently being asked to make a second one.and I’m struggling as to what that topic would be. But that book depicts every cut of meat that one could possibly be looking for in a market and I find that it’s very surprising to me that how little culinary graduates know about meat and meat cuts. What I tried to do was take an industry standard book and soften it up for an everyday consumer to be able to find each cut of meat, where it is in the animal, there’s many more people than I thought were interested in that. So if you google a cut of meat as to where it is, usually some cartoon character will come up and point to a region. [My book] brings you right to an animal that’s split. I had my little photographer go an a forklift that’s 30 feet up and shoot down and I spent month’s detailing where each cut if from so if there’s a particular cut of meat that you like, it’s in my book and tells you what to look for and what to ask for from the butcher to get it.
What would you say is your favorite thing about summer?
We work hard meaning my day is usually 20 hours, 18 or 20 hours a day six days a week so that seventh day… you know work hard party hard. The smell of the barbeque. Forget about even tasting the beer, but the sound of a bottle cap falling on the ground after you’ve popped it open knowing that you’ve worked hard enough to be able to not feel one bit guilty about enjoying our one day off. So you know it’s important to us that we get that day. Sometimes we don’t get that day.