I’ve wanted to try something new with pork chops. Mostly it has been brine, brine, and more brine, then grill. During my Good Eats watching, I saw him make a marinade application for pork chops that uses molasses. That is good since I have molasses for the ginger snap cookies I made several years ago, and… nothing else. I mean, what do you ever use molasses for anyway?
I’ve had the New Holland Charkoota Rye Smoked Dopplebock since I recapped it after drinking half of the bottle during lent. The New Holland website is all about pairing this with pork, so I figured why not. I wasn’t sure the beer would will still be good, since the head space was now filled with oxygenating air instead of a barrier of CO2, but it seems to have done alright.
The Pork was a no brainer. It was almost like somebody designed the beer to go with this pork. The pork takes on a bit of smokiness, although not as much as with a proper barbecue. The beer takes your backyard grilled pork chop and adds the flavor of a nicely smoked pulled pork sandwich, with a tad bit more charring. The malt sweetness of the beer mingled very nicely with the molasses and coffee flavors of the pork. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a second date between all the flavors.
The rice took on a lot of the flavors and sweetness of the reduction sauce made from the pork marinade. Brown rice generally has a pretty nutty flavor, and with the sauce it became almost like a nutty winter treat. Pairing it with the beer brought you right back to the middle of summer with campfires and Independence Day grill fests. It was kind of like Christmas in July.
I also had lemon glazed kale. I have never had kale, but it is a more hearty green than something like romaine, red leaf, or the other leafy greens generally used for salads. My theory was that it could therefore stand up to a more substantial beer than the Weiss and witbiers a salad would best with. I’m not sure it would have worked out so well if it didn’t have that lemon honey glaze. It also had a pretty good kick from the red peppers and garlic, and I most definitely over salted it. In light of the over salting, the beer was a life (food) savor, as the sweet malt flavor blunted the saltiness of the kale. If you remember from my last post on the beer, it has a very smoke forward taste and aroma, which I think at times is overpowering. The lemon glaze cut through the smokiness of the beer. The kale turned out decently sweet as well from the lemon glaze. There was, quite frankly, a lot of competing flavors in the kale, and the beer did its job of bringing them all together. I can’t really see the beer going with very many leafy greens, but if you cooked them with strong flavors like I did, then you might be good to go.
All in all, it was a pretty good meal. After I sent the dog away I was finally able to enjoy its full gastronomic potential, where the food and the beer became greater than the sum-total of their parts.