Friday, July 10, 2009
Why Stout with Steak & Eggs?
Preface: Once again I venture into the world of “brunch” to explore a popular pairing of food and beer. In this case a basic brunch dish has been paired with a pint of stout. The above pictured dish was served to someone recovering from a lengthy bout with beer the previous day, which the beer won. Thus, the consumption of the above was a matter of survival as well gustatory gratification. I digress…
There are a few solid reasons that Stout is a better beverage to serve with steak and eggs than either lager or Bloody Marry…
Appearance: The plate of eggs, warm, rich and runny, aromatic roasted potatoes and a charred slice of beefsteak is an imposing sight. A tall pilsner glass appears effete but a proud pint of stout (all pints are proud) is a visual stimulus promising rich roasted flavor friendships.
Aroma: As noted previously, the roasted potatoes and the charred beef have distinctive rich aromatics. The roasted malted barley of the stout (especially when served at 50F) is noticeable and echoes both the char of the beef and the roasted tuber aromatics of the potato.
Mouth feel: The first thing I do when presented with a dish like this is place the eggs on the beef and slice across the yolks, allowing the rich yolks to “sauce” the meat. This makes for a rich and slightly viscous sensation that is well met by the slightly astringency of a good stout.
Flavor: Again, as noted above, the char of the beef and the richness of the egg is a fine match for the rich chocolate and patent malts in the stout as well as the slightly astringent character of the roasted non-malted barley.
Finish: Stout has the character to finish off the rich flavors of the eggs and the meaty richness of the beef juices and then cleanse the pallet for more. Lager style brews may finish well but they can’t stand up to the rich flavors. A traditional Bloody Mary numbs the flavor receptors with Horseradish (or should so if done properly).
Comments: I can attest to the curative effects of this dish on a hangover and comfort food. The fact that I am not a “brunch” fan withstanding, this is a dish I will treat myself too when the body needs nourishment and the soul solace.