Food and drink go together like Bonnie and Clyde, Morecombe and Wise, Ant and Dec and, well, you get our drift.
So, in the first in a series of posts we want to take a look at our favourite food and drink pairings, starting with good old fashioned stout.
Granted, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea; this dark ale that was first developed in London in the early 1700s, but even if it’s not your regular tipple there’s no disputing how great cooking with it is.
As a nation of pie lovers, who hasn’t enjoyed a steak and ale pie? There’s always better when cooked with a stout, rather than normal beer, because it brings out the flavour of the beef.
It’s also great as a marinade. Because stout is high in sugar it can easily be reduced to a syrup so it’s great as a glaze on some pork, especially ribs.
You see more and more fish and chip restaurants serving fish in beer batter these days and whilst a pale ale is the norm, a lightly carbonated stout can also be used.
Beef stews are great using stout and whilst Guinness is a bit bland for our stout taste-buds, it works well with this dish; just remember to use a full can/bottle and cook slowly so the meat and vegetables soak up the lovely liquid.
Do you know you can make a chilli with stout? You do everything you normally would to knock up the dish, but add a bottle of stout as well. Because you are adding more liquid it means you can simmer it for much longer and the stout gives the chilli a real depth of flavour.
Believe it or not, stout goes just as well with sweet dishes. Add it into a chocolate cake batter and you get a lovely moist cake with a distinct, but not over the top, beery taste, or how about chocolate fudge brownies using the black stuff? Trust us, you’ll love them.
Stout also goes well as an accompaniment to food. It has traditionally been served with oysters; the richness of game meat goes well with stout particularly when the game is served in a sweet sauce; and dark chocolate desserts are lovely served with a chocolate stout.
All this talk of food and drink has made us thirsty so if you really want to push the boat out, try a black velvet cocktail. Stout and champagne, can you think of anything better?