Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grub and Guinnessy Goodness

A Black and Tan is a drink made by layering two beers of differing specific gravities. Officially, the beers involved are Guinness and Harp, but we're not always official at Chez Gwen. Done properly, the end result is a lovely bicolored concoction. Trouble is, ya gotta be careful where you ask for these things, as the name can also conjure brutal memories of the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force. Yikes.
A much friendlier sort of Black & Tan.
There are plenty of variations on the Black and Whatever theme; all involve Guinness and some other beer or liquor. There's also an art to getting the pour right - which I didn't know, so totally shagged it up the first time I tried. Fortunately more libationally experienced heads prevailed, and we came up with a couple of successful pours.

Black Rain: Guinness & Rainier
As mentioned, a genuine Black & Tan should be Guinness and Harp, but we didn't have any Harp at the time. Rainier also holds a special place in our little geek hearts, since most of us are Pacific Northwest natives: we have fond memories of the classic ad campaigns Rainier did way back in the 70's, and the bright red neon "R" gracing the top of the brewery next to I-5 was something of a beacon on many a dark, rainy night. Straggling in, tired and hungry, from some endless road trip, seeing the "R" always meant you were almost home.

And it goes strangely well with Guinness. Something about beers made in wet, rainy, green places, that must be it...

Black Gold: Guinness & Goldschlager
Never thought Guinness and cinnamon would go together, didja? Neither did we, but oddly enough, it works, in a really sweet-bitter-spicy-dark-smoky kind of way. The gold flecks are quite pretty too.

See? Sparkly!!
And what sort of noshies go well with Guinnessy concoctions? Well, Lexi's amazing Angels on Horseback, for one:

These are one of those incredibly simple but incredibly good noshes. They're nothing more than oysters wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with brown sugar, then broiled. The oysters, of course, were harvested from the beach outside and shucked about an hour before this recipe was made. That night we also did oysters on the grill, cooked over medium hot coals in the shell until they pop open, and then eaten with a variety of condiments, including:
  • Melted butter (clarified or not - some prefer it, others don't care)
  • Soy sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Horseradish sauce
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Rooster sauce (Sriracha)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon wedges
And sometimes at these parties, Guinness is a breakfast food:

"Still life with Nutella, Rainier, Goldschlager, and doughnuts"
Spouse also makes a very hearty and delicious Guinness beef stew. Pix and recipes forthcoming.

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