As I mentioned during the Sorachi Ace review, a Saison will pair well with almost anything you put it up against (see specific recommendations). I attempted to prepare a dinner party menu that would perfectly complement the light summery flavors of Sorachi Ace. Lobster was on sale at the local grocery store and I had some venison in the freezer from last hunting season so I did my own take on surf-and-turf.
A light spinach salad with red onions, heirloom tomatoes and chickpeas topped by a sesame ginger vinaigrette. The salad’s bitter, salty, and sweet flavors mingled well with the lemon notes in the saison.
Pan-seared venison tenderloin coated in olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper. I pan-seared it on high heat until browned on all sides whilst being serenaded by my fire alarm. I immediately removed it from the pan once all sides were done so it would stay a juicy medium rare. This was topped with pureed raspberry sauce.
Lobster tails stuffed with more lobster, Ritz crackers, butter, and chopped onion and celery.
Red mashed potatoes garlicky enough to fell a vampire or five. The usual additions of milk, butter, sea salt, and cracked pepper, plus a metric ton of minced garlic.
The variety of flavors between these dishes was intense but the Saison matched each one with a refreshing taste. It lifted the heavy flavors of the venison off the tongue while at the same time highlighting the raspberry sauce, and allowed the lighter flavors of the lobster and potatoes to shine through.
We didn’t do a dessert; the main course was filling enough. If you are one of those who believes a meal isn’t complete without a little something sweet, I recommend saving some Sorachi Ace to go with a glazed fruit tart, New York Cheesecake with brandied cherries on top, or butterscotch bread pudding topped with caramel creme sauce and vanilla ice cream. The Saison will meld easily with any of these desserts in a way that will bring out the full flavors of both beer and dessert.
[Editor’s Note]: We prepared this meal while still in the planning stages for this blog, and Jason is notorious for making/modifying awesome recipes and forgetting to write them down. We’ll have recipes for any future pairing posts if it’s something more than a common knowledge recipe.
*Venison fans, what’s your favorite beer to have with venison, and what’s your favorite way to cook the meat?