Today’s meal consisted of two parts, in typical fashion a protein and a side, and of course a beer.
The protein was a chili topped with freshly chopped dill, with a salad for the side. The salad was composed of tomatoes, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, radish and a balsamic-olive oil dressing, lightly salted. The beer of choice for this dinner was a Kokanee Gold, an Amber Lager.
It was my first time having this beer, but it was recommended and chosen based on its style. My first impressions were as follows:
Appealing copper red color for this Amber Lager, a few shades darker than a Flanders red.On my first smell I noticed a some what bready, doughy aroma similar to freshly baked bread. On a second smell I noticed hints of woody, piney and earthy notes. This leads me to believe that it is a malt forward beer with the malts roasted at a high temperature at a longer period of time being the focus rather than the hops or yeast.
My first taste definitely made a big impression. The beer has notes of wood and pine and a slight bitterness that quickly fades on your tongue. It is light and body and very easy to drink. I wouldn’t say it’s any more than 20 perceived bitterness unites (BU).
Some of the key things I noticed in its pairing with this meal is the transition and commonality of flavors. The beer accented the earthy flavor of the dill on the chili and radish in the salad giving it a connected feeling as if you’re having a rustic meal. The brief bitterness of the beer accents the chili and quickly disappears, leaving you ready for the next bite. The body is light, and the carbonation is average, thus not leaving a heavy taste in your mouth after the chili like a full-bodied porter or stout would. The acidic flavors of the dressing and tomato are washed away by the woody and earthy notes of the beer making it an interesting transition between the two portions. It’s not exactly harmonious but it makes it exciting switching between bites of salad and chili, almost as if you’re having two separate meals rather than one whole.
Some considerations are the toppings and dressing for the meal. Should sour cream and green onions or cheese been used or a creamier dressing rather than an acidic one been used, this beer would probably feel out of place.
For those interested in recreating the meal, the chili was cooked in the following way:
~0,9kg of minced pork and beef mix
3 handfuls of red kidney beans boiled for 90 minutes before being added into the chili
1 medium red onion
2 large cloves of garlic
A table spoon of; cumin, oregano, turmeric, ground black pepper
2 table spoons of paprika
Salt to taste
A whole 670ml can of tomato sauce
1 and a half cups of water
Sautee the onions, throwing in the garlic shortly after. Add the meat after the onions are caramelized and the garlic has toasted. Mix and let the meat brown, adding all of the spices half way through. Add in the kidney beans and stir for 5 minutes. Add the water and mix till an even consistency, lowering the heat to medium and covering to let simmer. 10-15 minutes later add half the of tomato sauce and mix again, cover leaving it to simmer for another 20 minutes. Add the remaining sauce, mix and let it reduce on medium heat until the consistency you want it (thicker chili=more time on the stove). Taste and season to desired degree. Plate and enjoy!