Hosted by Brewtopia Events LLC
By K. Allen
Article Originally Published in Southern Brew News
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|You sit in your favorite
restaurant looking over the menu. You find the absolutely most perfect
meal for your current craving. The waiter walks over, compliments you
on your choice and asks, “What beer would you like to go with this?”
No, you are not dreaming. Americans are finally learning that beer is a
gastronomic art form as much as wine.
This time of the year always brings about thoughts of cooler weather, beautiful leaves and of course German Octoberfest. As a tribute to the German food and beer tradition our pairing will be a twist on the ultimate German meal-a German pizza-with one of my favorite German Beers-Aventinus.
Now I know what you are thinking---German pizza! I thought the same thing the first time the love of my life brought the idea to my attention, but being the adventurer that I am, I gave it a shot. To give it a little more credibility, since I first began making this dish, I have seen similar items made on several Food Network shows including Emeril Live.
The list of ingredients I am giving may be varied to suit individual tastes and dietary habits. I will give some of the alternatives that I have chosen to use along with the usual suspects. You will need:
A pizza dough base (boxed, pre-made, or from scratch)
1 small jar of German whole grain mustard (whatever spice level you prefer)
1 jar (16oz) of Bavarian sauerkraut
2 sliced bratwurst (vegetarian brats or turkey brats may be substituted)
1-2 cups shredded Munster (your favorite German cheese or fat free Mozzarella may be
1 small bag of diced hash-browns
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Once you have your favorite pizza dough base spread and formed on your baking surface you are ready to begin. (If you make your own dough or use a box pizza dough kit, I have found that adding caraway seeds into the dough during the mixing process adds a wonderful dimension of flavor.) You will layer the ingredients starting with the mustard as your base. After you have spread the mustard on the dough, evenly distribute the sauerkraut. The brats go onto the top of the kraut. Spread your shredded cheese. Finally, you will spread a light, even layer of hash-browns. Spray the top with cooking spray. Finish it with a couple of twists of freshly grated black pepper. Place in the oven to bake. Use the cooking time given for your pizza dough base.
You now wait with anticipation for your scrumptious, hand-held German delight and must prepare the perfect beer to compliment your meal. There are many beers one could choose to serve with such a delectable dish as the Germans are prolific and accomplished brewers, but I have chosen Aventinus Weizenbock from the Schneider Brewery in Kelheim, Germany. (By the way, if you ever have a chance to visit, you should. It’s a quaint little town just outside Munich, and the brewery boasts a wonderful restaurant where you can fill your stomach with good food and better beer.) Pour this rich, tasty brew into an appropriate wheat glass (if possible) and inhale the wonderful aromas of earthy fruits, spice and the warming fragrance of alcohol. This beer is about 8% alcohol by volume. When you taste this beer you will discover all of the wonderful flavors of a Bavarian wheat beer with the added depth of malty rich toffee flavors, raisins, and plum. These flavors are finished with a sherry-like warmth with hints of clove and other spices. Every sip holds a new delight.
Once you have served up your German pizza with the Aventinus, prepare yourself for the first bite. The sourness of the kraut is balanced with the spiciness of the mustard and the depth of the bratwurst. All of this is pulled together with the soft warmth of the cheese and the crispness of the potatoes. After your first bite of pizza, take a nice sip of your beer. Notice how the earthy maltiness of the brew compliments the spicy, earthy flavors of the pizza. You always want the flavors to compliment one another not overpower. The rule, of course, is to drink what you like, but in doing so be a good matchmaker.
If you have a favorite beer and food pairing, send them in to me. The beer wench is always on the lookout for a new adventure. If you are really lucky, I’ll print your pairing. Cheers!
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