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Oct 29, 2006 10:23 PM

When Cooking With Stout

I am in the process of planning a 3 course dinner menu. I know the menu so far will include lamb shanks first dry-rubbed in ground fennel seed and allspice, and then braised in Guinness beer. The braising liquid will be strained and made into a sauce enriched with veal demi-glace and garnished with fresh chervil and a tiny grating of lemon zest. The shank will be served over fresh fava beans sauteed in butter, or cabbage sauteed in duck fat (depending on what the market brings). I will not serve Guiness with the dish, and don't know what wine to pair with it. I would be indebted to anyone who has any sugestions, and that can shed light on the general question of what to do when pairing wine with food that is cooked with beer. Cheers.

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  1. I made short ribs braised in porter ale with a maple rosemary glaze last night, which paired wonderfully with a Mollydooker Shiraz (which is 16% alcohol).

    1. Based on your description, it seems likely the sauce will be deep and dark but not strongly marked by stout flavours. I'd be inclined to go with a medium-weight French red that was more savoury than fruity, and my choice would probably be determined by the vegetable accompaniment. With the fava beans, a cabernet franc or blend from the Loire in a ripe vintage, something like the gorgeous 2003 Saumur-Champigny "La Marginale" from Domaine de la Roche Neuve we opened this weekend. With the cabbage, the duck fat would push me toward the southwest, a traditionally styled Cahors, maybe, or a Coteaux du Languedoc or Minervois.