Pairing beer with food:
1. Refreshing light lagers, kolsch and wheat beers are good with fish, chicken and citrus, and won't overpower them.
2. Malt forward styles such as amber ales, brown ales, bocks & stouts go well with caramelized onions, roasted poultry, steaks and breads.
3. Hoppy beers like pale ales, India pale ales and pilsners counter spicey food nicely, as well as aromatic greens.
4. Dessert: Rich, strong beers such as barleywines, wheatwines, tripels and imperial stouts make for the perfect complement to dessert.
5. Wild Card: When in doubt, drink any beer you like.
1 cleaned pork belly (the butcher or Asian market will clean it for you)
1/2 cup miso paste
1 cup rice vinegar or mirin
1 Tbs sambal or chili paste
2 Tbs sweet soy sauce (also found at your local Asian market)
1/2 sweet onion, rough chopped
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
splash of water
Place the belly in a large braising pan. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the pork belly, cover with foil. Braise the belly in a 350 degree oven until the belly is soft and able to insert a knife through the center with ease. Remove the belly and let cool down in the juices. This can be done a day or two ahead of time. Simply cover and refrigerate. It can also be wrapped and frozen. Once the belly has cooled, cut and portion it into individual size squares.
Once the belly is ready to be served, place a sauté pan on the stove over a medium high heat. Add about a tablespoon of cooking oil and once it gets hot (which will take about a minute), place the pork belly in the pan and let it sear for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and it's ready to serve.
Strain the braising liquid out from the belly, and pour into a saucepot. Stir the sauce and simmer the liquid for about 5 minutes and pour over the dish when ready to serve.
Wild Boar Sausage
2 lb. wild boar meat
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
1 Tbs sambal or chili paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion, minced
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 container of sausage casing
Using the grinder attachment on the KitchenAid, place the meat and dates through the grinder. Once all the meat is ground up, place all ingredients in a bowl together and mix thoroughly. Place the casing at the bottom of the faucet and run some cool water through it once. Next place the casing on the tip of the KitchenAid attachment and slowly slide the desired length of casing all the way on to the mixer. Tie the hanging end into a small knot and begin to make the sausage. Turn the mixer on a slow to medium speed and make sure to hold the end of the casing tight while the sausage comes out. Keep the process going until the desired amount of sausage is made. Pull the end off and tie it into a knot. Make sure to fill the casing nice and tight so the sausage will stay together while it's cooked. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
An alternate method is to take the sausage mixture and form into individual patties with your hands like meatballs. This is an easier way and alternative if you don't have the attachment or a mixer.
To cook the sausage, place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees or place in a small sauté pan with a touch of oil and sauté the sausage on a medium heat until it's done. Remove and serve
1 cup grits
2 cups water
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (any cheese will do, though)
salt and pepper to taste
For the cheesy grits, place the grits and water in a pot, bring to a boil, whisk to combine and then reduce heat to a simmer, cook until they are done whisking every minute or so. Instant grits will only take a few minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cheese and serve immediately.
Picking the right beer to pair with your food:
Match intensity: Look for harmony in the boldness or subtlety of both the beer and the food. Bigger bolder foods call for more robust beers, while light or subtle foods should be paired with beers that won't overpower them.
Include one or more of the Four C's: Complement, Contrast, Create or Cleanse. If the relationship between the beer and food is doing one or more of those, you're on the right track.
Seek flavor bridges in both: Identify one or two signature flavors of either the food or the beer that you're choosing to pair to. For instance, pairing to a cheese's "nuttiness" allows you to simplify what you're trying to find in a beverage.