Category Archives: food and beer matches
Breakfast. Being honest, not something I eat a lot of. I generally don’t get hungry until I’ve been up an hour or so, and by that time I’m normally on the way to work. On holiday, or when not at work, however, I do try and get something special on the go for ‘Brunch’.
There’s something inherently decadent about most things you would cook for Brunch – noticed that? A personal favourite is Scrambled Eggs on a toasted Bagel, made with cream and butter, stirred through until just-so and then topped with layers of sweet, smoky Salmon. Simple, fortifying and probably incredibly bad for you. Toast. Butter. Black Pudding. Bacon-Bacon. Sausage. All these things are not the cardiologist’s friend. It’s never really going to be health-food. Nope, Brunch is all about fat. Which normally equals, as we all know, flavour.
My tastebuds, however, flick two fingers up at my waistline and heart when Brunch is on the go. So it’s a return to familiar, comforting flavours this lunchtime. A tubby, rotund Cep-like Mushroom, sliced thickly and sauteed in butter; with only the merest lick of Olive Oil to stop burning. Wedges of The Blue Pig’s Black Pudding, now officially my brand of choice. The nuggets of pig-fat that stud it are just meaty, chewy Haribo-pork goodness, and when sauteed in the same pan you get crispy, crunchy exterior – and moist, delicately – spiced interior.
Stack them on top of warmed Ciabatta – or Toast – and you’ve got a massive, massive flavour-bomb of a lunch. (We’ve eaten late; it is lunch but just feels like Brunch). A pint of Bowland’s Headless Peg (4.5%abv) joins proceedings; dark-amber with a serious red streak, there’s gentle fudge and toffee-sweetness in the body, with some raisin and black pepper (take note, Pepe Nero!) rounding things off with a hint of earthy spice. A surprisingly flavourful beer, it’s perfect with the rich, subtly herbed notes of the Black Pudding and Mushroom.
Do go to Wahaca; the food’s lovely.
2 large knobs of butter
Chopped and fried smoked bacon or ham
Cheese of your choice – I would go for smoky or strong tasting cheese. Or more than one kind – the choice is yours!! Manchego is very good with this, as is Lincolnshire Poacher. You want something with bite.
1. Ok – first thing’s first – preheat your grill to about 180c.
2. To make a simple béchamel sauce, melt your butter in a pan, and when melted sprinkle flour over it, slowly, stirring or whisking at the same time. The butter will thicken into a paste. At this point, add milk and whisk; but slowly and a little at a time. You want a thick sauce, so don’t add too much milk.
3. To the sauce add two teaspoons of wholegrain mustard, and the cooked bacon.
4. Stir, and then grate in about 100g of cheese.
5. Leave the sauce to combine whilst you slice some big slices of crusty or bloomer bread.
6. Top the bread with the sauce, top again with more cheese (the more the better!!) and then grill for 5-8 minutes. You want the bread to toast around the edges, and the cheese to bubble and melt on top.