Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

February 23, 2009

Beer and Food:

Oink + Maibock = Yum

In this inaugural beer and food article, learn about the sublime pairing of the best pig parts and spring’s quintessential brew, maibock.
by Kaitlyn Logue

Kaitlyn Logue is just here for the beer.
Contact Kaitlyn»
My husband enjoys brewing many varieties of beers and I enjoy cooking and experimenting with new food recipes. In the past, I had never given much thought as to what beer we drank with my latest concoction. Typically, we would drink my husband’s latest brew or something new we found at our favorite liquor store.

Then I came across an article in one of my favorite cooking magazines about finding the perfect beer with your food. I was familiar with the notion of pairing wine with food, but never considered doing the same with beer. I became intrigued. I recently read the book Brewmaster’s Table by Garrett Oliver and have become inspired to begin pairing our favorite brews with our favorite foods.

The choice for a beer for my first experiment with pairing was easy. My favorite seasonal brew had just been released: Capital Brewery’s Maibock. I wanted to find a dish that would enhance this beer’s smooth malty flavor, and make it the hero of the meal. After much reading and research, I settled on roasted pork loin.

Before roasting, I combined minced garlic and olive oil with sage, thyme and rosemary and rubbed it on the pork. I added quartered red potatoes that were tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary to the pan. As it roasted, I prepared a sauce made primarily of shallots, fresh parsley and Dijon mustard, and a side dish of steamed green beans with almonds.

At first bite, I knew I had made a perfect pairing. The juicy, succulent pork was flavorful, but since it is a light meat, it did not overwhelm the sweet caramel taste of the Maibock. The herbs fit well with the toasty overtones. Overall, the flavors of everything were well-rounded and complimented each other.

If roasted pork is not your thing, there are many other suggestions for pairing with Maibock. Try it with a baked ham for a nice contrast to its sweet flavor. It’s a natural with other smoked meats and sausages. Maibock also works well with Thai cuisine as it will cut into the spicy flavors as the malt flavor rounds out the sweet nuttiness of the food.

If you haven’t given thought to beer and food pairing before, I encourage you to give it a try and find out how the right food can truly enhance the flavor of your favorite brew.

Roasted Pork Loin with Herb Crust
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh sage
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 ½ lbs pork loin roast

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine the garlic, salt, oil and herbs to form a paste. Rub over top of pork. Roast in oven for an hour or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove from oven, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Today is the feast day of St. Arnold, patron saint of beer.

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

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