My Christmas Day Menu
…I’ve noticed that amongst the wave upon wave of Christmas Dinner ideas in magazines, TV shows and Radio that there really isn’t much given over to enjoying beer on Christmas Day. Wine? No problem. Port? Whiskey? Sure. Beer? Er…no, just stick a bottle of Fullers Vintage Ale on the cheeseboard and we’ve got that angle covered.
Or so it seems.
Anyway, let’s do something about that. Where the mass media fail, we bloggers step in. And so it goes – I’ve rounded up a gang of Foodie Beer Geeks and we’ve put a little something together for you. I’ll be linking to their posts as they link throughout the weekend. Also, if you want to join in and put something together, drop me an email and I’ll link it up here.
So – here’s my suggested menu for you to enjoy on Christmas Day; the only rule – all beers must be easily available (we don’t want to stump people at the first hurdle). I’ve also gone for a traditional meal, but an all-Yorkshire affair with the beer, just to give things a bit of a theme. To be clear; this is simply a suggested menu.
Wold Top’s Against The Grain is spritzy, light and full of lime sherbet notes that make it a feather-light thirst-whetter whilst you slave away in the kitchen before eating.
Prawn Cocktail (Prawns, Marie Rose Sauce on Watercress and Lettuce; served with Wholemeal Bread) with Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout
I can’t help it. Although deemed totally naff in some quarters, there’s something about a Prawn Cocktail. It’s the only real salad I’m going to eat all day, anyway! Smith’s smooth, sweet Oatmeal Stout is perfect for this, smoothing out all the jagged edges of Lemon and Marie Rose sauce.
Roast Beef rubbed with Mustard, Oatmeal and Smoked Bacon Stuffing, Maple-Glazed Carrots and Cauliflower Cheese and Beef-Dripping Roasted Potatoes
Simple flavours and simple combinations. You can’t beat it. With all the sweet, smoky and slightly peppery notes going on in this course, I’m going to opt for Ampleforth Abbey’s Dubbel (7% abv). It’s sweet and suitably boozy and has loads of Black Pepper and Raisin in the body, with a softly oaky finish. It’s complex enough to stand up to all the flavours in the meat and cheese of the meal. Oatmeal and Smoked Bacon Stuffing may sound odd, but it’s deeply savoury flavour and sweet,smoky bacon is wonderful with Beef and Cauliflower Cheese.
Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with Dark Chocolate Shavings
…is crying out for a sweet, thick chocolate stout. Saltaire’s Triple Chocoholic remains a brilliant example of this, and Ossett’s Treacle Stout has a lovely whack of mollasses-esque roastiness that will be made even smoother with the vanilla and biscuit in the cheesecake.
Ok, so that’s lunch over (and yes, I know I didn’t have Turkey!). Put your feet up, watch some Morcambe and Wise and let dinner settle for a while. After all, there’s a cheese course to come later.
For blue cheeses, I love darker beers – so Revolutions Clash London Porter would fit the bill here. Theakston’s Old Peculier and Wharfebank’s IPA are juicy and vinous enough to stand up to the Mature Cheddar, with two entirely different flavour profiles. Another old classic, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord would be lovely with the Coverdale, and the light, fresh Pilsner from Hop Studio would sit nicely with the meek Wensleydale.
And that’s it. Kick back and relax with a couple of bright, aroma-packed bottles of High Wire from Magic Rock to pep you up before the late film (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for me, thanks)
So , that’s my Menu. Here you can check out menus from Phil, Neil, Andy , Mark and Rick. Delicious-looking and sounding every one of them, and I seriously urge you to read all these posts as one – and then get cracking yourself!
We have such great produce in the UK, and such great, great beer, it’s a crying shame that we still suffer from ‘second-class citizen’ syndrome in the mass media. I hope we can provide a free alternative! Let’s bang the drum and shout about beer this Christmas.