Thursday, January 25, 2007

Beer as Cuisine

Not alot of posting in this direction so far. I know. [Insert Day Job Whining] Anyway...

I think the "Beer as Cuisine" concept has two basic angles; using beer as an ingredient in food preparation and beer as an accompaniment to prepared food. The former meaning beer having a greater role in overall flavor development than simply using it as a liquid component. The later meaning the use of beer to enhance/support/contrast/etc. the enjoyment of mowing through your delectations (much in same way that wine is used). One evening over the holidaze we enjoyed a bit of store brand Asiago with cashews and a bottle of North Coast Brother Thelonius. Slightly sharp, firm, and nutty cheese with that salty cashew (earthy? slightly sweet?) followed by the softly warming, mildly sweet and spicy Strong Dark Belgian-Style ale. Very nice. Speaking of cheeses; New Years Eve, we had an aged Edam that we were washing down with Sandemans Ruby Port. Mmm, fantastic!

I brew an Irish Stout every year and prepare a good meal of corned beef, boiled potatoes, steamed cabbage, carrots and house made soda bread. This year won't be any different but with one exception, I'm going to cure my own corned beef! Ha, ha!!! I'll get some good natural brisket and brine away. Lotsa cracked pepper, Indian coriander, allspice, some mustard seed and a fair dose of bay leaf. Should be good. I'll use the Egg to cook the brisket "low and slow". The Stout is based on Guinness (of course). Medium-light bodied, silky from using too much flaked barley, tart from a bit of acid malt and intensely roasty/coffeeish from a generous dose of roasted barley. Good with the corned beef, helps to clean the palate off a bit after a bite of rich and fatty brisket. Hmm, I'll have to get that going soon.

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