Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Rodenbach Time!

Yesterday my parents came up on their annual birthday/Halloween visit. Since we'd gotten an unusually early snowstorm on Friday I decided to cancel our dinner reservations and do the cooking myself. A lot of the snow had melted by dinner time but ingredients had been purchased and it was time to get to work.

Adding Dogfish Head Punkin Ale to Osso Bucco

I made Osso Bucco. I normally stick to a pretty basic formula when I'm making this but I tend to get bored easily so I changed it up. I crushed garlic, cooked it with onion, celery, and butternut squash. I also added in some carrot. Normally this is where I'd add tomato and red wine. Instead I used this Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head. After adding some concentrated turkey stock from Canadian Thanksgiving I threw it in the oven for two-and-a-half hours.

Rodenbach Grand Cru

While it cooked I popped open this bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru. I had purchased this a while back based on a video review by Michael Jackson

However, over time, I forgot about the review and was pretty surprised to be reminded that it was a sour beer. While this was alarming at first it actually turned out to be the perfect pre-dinner beer. Michael Jackson said it was similar to wine. I think it's more like a framboise. After all, what does Michael Jackson know about beer, anyway?

Nate and Dad: Beer Guys

We were so impressed with the beer that my father and I posed with our glasses like a couple of guys in the 1880s who were still amazed at the technology of still photography.


While the Osso Bucco cooked we enjoyed this Gabietou cheese with some sourdough bread.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale Braised Osso Busso with Green Onion Gremolata

The end result of the Osso Bucco cooked with beer was fantastic. I think I'm going this route with all future Osso Bucco (Osso Buccos? -- what is the plural of Osso Bucco?) that I make. I only selected the pumpkin beer because it was around and it was seasonally appropriate. I think, however, the spices in the beer happened to lend themselves nicely to the veal and the butternut squash.

Stewed Kale and Potatoes

As a side dish I made this stew with garlic, onion, potato, and kale.

Plungerhead Zinfandel (2008)

Along with the Osso Bucco I stuck with tradition and served this 2008 Plungerhead Zinfandel from The Other Guys. It was, of course, selected based on the name and the label. I think most winemakers these days have gotten the message that unless you have a humorous or interesting name and label for your wine it's going to get lost in the mix. Unless, you know, it's from some super famous vineyard.

Château Mouton Rothschild doesn't really need to get anyone's attention with a picture of a dog riding a bicycle or a nun playing pool.

Pear Tart with Fig Glaze

Jen managed to use up all of our leftover pears from the farm share to make this pear tart with a fig glaze. While it looks like a huge amount of tart it was actually quite small. It cooked up nicely although we had to balance out Jen's tendency to think baked items are burned before they are with my tendency to think they are not burned after they are. This was our compromise position.

Pear Tart with Fig Glaze and Vanilla Ice Cream

With a little vanilla ice cream, hot out of the oven, the tart was fantastic.

Nate Reading the Oxford Companion to Beer

After dinner we continued our tradition by watching Ghostbusters and added a new tradition by watching Ghostbusters II. Truly two of the scariest movies ever. Perfect for a spook-tacular Halloween!

My parents got me some books by Garrett Oliver and I was able to read about how poorly I'd matched beer with dinner.

There is no better present than reading about one's own personal failure.


Sandy said...

Dinner was fantastic. Sorry you had to make your own birthday dinner, but you really seemed to enjoy doing it! Everything was fantastic, but most of all the company.

Unknown said...

I rarely mind making dinner. Especially for such esteemed guests!

Vanessa said...

Sounds like an amazing dinner! And don't let Garrett tell you you're a failure. If it tastes good it's a success :D