A Cicerone’s Tips to Pair Pints with GUINNESS® Bold Entrees
According to the numbers, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to capitalize on the trend of using premier branded beverages such as Guinness Stout to create distinctive, center-of-the plate protein items.
“Beer’s rightful place is at the table,” said Chef Todd Davies, a Certified Cicerone®, which is the beer industry’s equivalent of a wine sommelier. “Cooking with beer, and with Guinness in particular, provides a tremendous depth of flavor, adding hints of nutty, cocoa, malty, and roasted flavors when paired with food.”
Guinness-inspired dishes also bring the brand recognition to build sales. According to DIAGEO – Guinness USA:
- When a beer or alcohol is called out on a menu item, it increases beverage sales by 30 percent.
- Guinness is responsible for 90 percent of world stout sales.
- More than 1.1 million pints of Guinness are consumed each day in the United States.
- Approximately 13 million pints of Guinness will be served on St. Patrick’s Day.
Add Some Sláinte to St. Patrick’s Day Promotions
Chef Davies collaborated closely with Guinness and Bridgeview, Ill.-based Stampede Meat to recently launch a line of raw and fully cooked Guinness-infused meats for professional and home kitchens. These chef-inspired protein items are easy to prepare in-house, giving casual and bar and grill chains a unique opportunity to elevate their holiday menus. Chef Davies described some fast, flawless ways for food service chefs to use GUINNESS® Bold Entrees to create traditional and not-so-traditional St. Patrick’s Day food tie-ins.
GUINNESS® Braised Corned Beef
Add a twist to the St. Patrick’s Day classic with brisket flats first infused with Guinness, then cured in a Guinness-based brine for 24 hours. The premium meat cut eliminates the large seam of internal fat usually found in briskets for happier customers and maximum yields.
Serve in traditional St. Patrick’s Day style with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Toss with roasted potatoes for authentic Irish hash. Shred and stuff into wontons for a new pub favorite, Reuben egg rolls.
Pair with a pint of Guinness Stout. Nitrogenated beers like Guinness have a creamier, longer-lasting head. “The bubbles scrub the mouth and cleanse the palate,” Chef Davies explained. “That makes it a perfect combination for fried foods like Reuben egg rolls. Plus the Guinness flavor profile complements the earthy notes of Swiss cheese and the tartness of the sauerkraut.”
GUINNESS® Braised Tri Tip
Marinated and fully steam cooked in Guinness, this London Broil takes only a few minutes to finish on the grill or flat top or in the oven or broiler, and keeps its moisture for extended periods of time.
Serve as a full entrée with mashed potatoes to help diehard steak fans get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Shave thinly, pile on a roll, and present with its own au jus for a unique Irish Dip. Or, top a lettuce wedge with thin slices and crumbled bleu cheese to build a salad with some real meat to it.
Pair with Guinness Extra Stout or Guinness Foreign Extra Stout to amp up the flavor even higher. “The roasted malts in Guinness mimic the Maillard reaction, or browning effect, which comes across in the pint and on the plate,” said Chef Davies. He cautioned: “Guinness Foreign has a 7.5-percent alcohol content, so drink it in a snifter.” Which is another reason why it pairs well with steak.
GUINNESS® Braised Pot Roast
The workhorse of a food service development kitchen, this slow-cooked beef chuck in a Guinness-infused gravy couldn’t be more simple for the greenest line cook to prepare. It shreds easily but won’t fall apart, providing a great bite and a great base for a full range of Irish comfort foods.
Serve shredded on top of a burger — or better yet, fries, to give the poutine trend an Irish spin. Combine with roasted vegetables for an easy Irish stew. Or create a signature shepherds pie with sautéed onions, mushrooms, and peas underneath a mashed-potato crust.
Pair with classic Guinness Stout. Said Chef Davies, “It enhances the flavor notes of cocoa, chocolate, roasted beef, and spices to bring them front and center.”
GUINNESS® Braised St. Louis Ribs
Irish barbecue? Why not — when meaty pork ribs are marinated in Guinness, slowly cooked, and brushed with a Guinness-based, Memphis style sauce that’s not too sweet. Finish on the grill or in the oven and don’t forget the wet wipes.
Serve with potato salad or roasted potatoes and corn on the cob for a St. Patrick’s day version of a backyard BBQ. Or, shave off the bone to build a pulled pork sandwich or slider with its own natural juices.
Pair with Guinness Extra Stout, which has deep fruit notes that go great with pork.
GUINNESS® Braised Beef Chili with Beans
Chef Davies’ absolute favorite chili includes chunks of Guinness-marinated beef slowly simmered with peppers, onions, and black and kidney beans. The Guinness-infused gravy adds a nice depth of flavor and a little bit of heat.
Serve on its own or as a high-end topping for hot dogs, nachos, potato skins, or cheese fries.
Pair with Guinness Blonde Lager. “It has a sweet forefront with just the right amount of bitterness, which go well with hot and spicy foods,” Chef Davies explained. “After each bite of umami chili, then the floral notes of the Guinness Blonde refresh the palate.”
The full line of GUINNESS® Bold Entrees are available to food service customers by contacting Stampede Meat at 800-353-0933 or at www.stampedemeat.com. Home chefs can purchase GUINNESS® Braised Corned Beef in 1,600 Wal-Mart stores across the United States.