Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve, Cicerone Style

Aperitif: Bridgeport Hop Harvest Ale, a fresh hopped Imperial IPA. Massively bitter, fairly light bodied, and nary a whiff of grass clippings, cat byproducts, or any such unpleasantness. Awwright!

We enjoyed the IPA with some of our favorite cheeses, Manchego, Wensleydale, and Farm Country Truffle, while waiting for our porcini-crusted lamb shanks to sloooowly roast. When the bomber of IPA ran out, we dialed the throttle back a bit and enjoyed some special bitter from downstairs, which despite its diminutive OG, was actually a better partner with all of the cheeses. This keg was dry hopped with Northern Brewer, and is gulpably good, to use more of that fancy Ciceroney language.

Main course:  Lamb shanks slow roasted with a paste rub of garlic, shallot, thyme, and rosemary, and finished with dried porcini crumb crust. A sauce made with pan drippings, and a deglaze using Buster 2010 Uber-doppelbock. Plated up with some steamed spinach and mashed rutabaga, to catch all the tasty drippin's. Beer: Allagash Musette, a Belgian style Scotch ale aged (partially) in a bourbon cask. The Musette was deliciously malty; the booze character was minimal.

Dessert beer: 2010 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Woof. Veery boozy and a bit hot. Wish we'd let this one rest another, say, 5-10 years.

All of this occurred in front of a cheery fire. And to all, a good night....

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