What does one eat with an unbelievably bitter, dark as night, stout? Generally I will drink a pint of stout and then switch to a lighter beer if I am having food. I find that while quite tasty, stouts can overwhelm both my taste buds and stomach if I am not extremely choosy with my food selections. Enter Bacon, Lemon and Tomato Pasta, and Pelican Pub & Brewery Tsunami Stout. Homemade pasta, and a lemony hollandaise sauce, both of which have bacon fat in them. Fried bacon, tomato, basil and goat cheese feta to top it off. And the stout. Nothing subtle about this pairing, it is all out flavor war in your mouth. I like it that way.
Pelican’s website talks about their belief in beer cuisine. An intentional melding of beer and food that is well thought out and integrated in an effort to create memorable food pairings. I hope this recipe follows in that tradition. Pairing equally strong flavors is what makes recipe work. The crunch of bacon and lemony sauce are equally as explosive in your mouth as the stout. Sweet tomato bites here and there work well with the bitter espresso flavor of this beer. My farmers market find of Ferns Edge Goat Dairy feta is an unexpected twist, soft and salty, it tempers this unusual stout. This cheese would be a great addition to a cheese plate pairing with this beer.
Bacon, Lemon and Tomato Pasta
Spaghetti pasta, homemade or store bought. I used this recipe here, and simply added 3 Tbsp bacon fat to the dough when I mixed it together
1 lbs bacon, chopped and fried
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup goat milk feta cheese
Basil roughly chopped
For the Hollandaise:
Juice of one lemon
7 egg yolks
3 Tbsp bacon grease
salt & pepper to taste
If you are going to make your own pasta, do so about an hour or so ahead of time. You have to let the dough rest for a good twenty minutes before you can start the thinning and cutting process, so plan accordingly.
This dish is meant to be served lukewarm, not hot, and it moves fast once you start. Boil your pasta in water that has been salted like the sea and a bit of oil so the noodles don’t stick together. Pour your beer in a few glasses and let it come up a few degrees too, it is better closer to room temperature than just out of the refrigerator. At the same time, mix your hollandaise ingredients up and let them sit. Chop your tomatoes, basil and crumble your cheese if it isn’t already.
Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour into the hollandaise sauce and mix well. Plate your pasta and throw some of the above accouterments on top.
Paired with this dish, Tsunami Stout worked wonders for my palate, balancing out the normally overwhelming flavor of salty pig. Bitter, but not acidic, with flavor notes hitting on licorice and a biting cocoa powder after taste. Pelican says that this stout will “bowl you over”. They are not joking. It is not for the faint of heart. At their restaurant, they recommend pairing it with their Clam Chowder or their Tsunami Stout Chili. At home, I recommend this pasta. Simple and quick to make, this could easily become part of a work week recipe repertoire.
For more information about Pelican Pub & Brewery, please visit their website, facebook page, or take a drive on a Saturday up to Pacific City and let us at Hopped Up know what you enjoyed most about Pelican’s Beer Cuisine.