Michigan Beer Cake

For a vegetarian version, see the variations.

Ingredients

12 ounces lean bacon
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
12 large eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
salt (optional)
1/4 pound Genoa salami, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons minced parsley

Instructions

Variations:

Ham: Substitute 1 cup chopped ham for the bacon and salami. Sauté in 2 tablespoons butter and proceed as above.

Vegetarian: Omit the meat. Add a green bell pepper and ½ cup chopped celery or zucchini. Cook the vegetables in 3 tablespoons butter and proceed as above.

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Place the bacon on a cutting board and dice into small pieces. Cook in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring to separate the pieces, for about 5 minutes, until the bacon has rendered its fat but is not yet browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving the fat.

Add the onion and pepper to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat, and sauté, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are cooked and have released their juices.

Place the mixture in a colander over a bowl to drain off the fat and extra moisture.

Beat the eggs for 2 minutes, add the flour, and beat for 1 minute longer, until thoroughly combined. Beat in the mustard, and season with a generous grating of black pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. Add salt if you wish.

Stir in the bacon and drained vegetable mixture along with the salami, cheeses, and parsley.

Spoon the mixture into a buttered 10-inch pan with a removable tube insert. (The cake tends to stick; if you don’t have this type of pan, use a standard tube pan or two 9x5-inch loaf pans lined with greased waxed paper.) Bang the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1-¼ to 1-½ hours, or until cooked through. Unmold while still warm. If any fat appears on the surface, blot it off with a paper towel.

Wrap the cooked, unmolded beer cake in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator, where it will stay in good condition for several days. Cut into ¼-inch slices to serve.

Course

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