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Irelandia (Ireland + India) – Curried Cabbage & Pairings

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Saint Patrick’s Day is almost upon us and here at BLC that means cooking up something delicious (and maybe wearing a little green as well). Since no doubt we will soon be hearing the (let’s be honest, sometimes blaring) tones of bagpipes in the air it seemed like we should prepare something to honor this holiday from the Emerald Isle. It seems no Irish inspired meal is complete without cabbage, so in addition to our Blind Bat Stout Stew, we also cooked up a curried cabbage side dish. You may be asking, “Is this another recipe with a twist?” Yes, yes we did decide to add a twist to our cabbage. While we think corned beef and cabbage is a fine choice for your St. Pat’s celebration we wanted to try two recipes that were a bit different and offered some more depth of flavor to pair with the beers we would be enjoying. This side dish was savored with our stout stew, but it would make a suitable side dish for just about any St. Patty’s Day meal. This could also be turned into a hearty main course on its own by adding meat or tofu in the mix. This dish is savory, a little spicy and was quite tasty.

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Half a head of cabbage cut into thin, long strips
1 parsnip sliced thin (optional)
2 tomatoes chopped
2 medium heat chili peppers chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp curry powder

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add curry powder and cook together until fragrant.
  • Then, add the onion, garlic and pepper to your curry. Pour in the water and sautee together for about five minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and parsnips and bring to a boil. Cover your pan until mixture begins to thicken and water lessens. It should look like a thin sauce at this point.

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  • Add cabbage, cover and cook until tender. Taste throughout and adjust seasoning accordingly.

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  • Remove the lid and reduce the liquid to desired consistency.
  • Makes 4 servings

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Since we enjoyed this with our Blind Bat Stout Stew, we were able to pair the curried cabbage with both Founders All Day IPA and Surge Protector, which was brewed as a collaboration of eight Long Island Breweries to help aid Hurricane Sandy Relief and Barrier Brewing Company. According to the bottle 100% of the proceeds will go to these two causes (which is pretty great in our book). The cabbage had a slightly sweet flavor to it coming from some of the spices in the curry blend, the parsnip and the tomatoes. This was nicely balanced by the mild heat in the chills, everything intertwining together in this sweet and savory side dish. We were looking forward to sampling the cabbage alongside the two “session” beers we chose.

All Day IPA (Founders Brewing Company): This IPA seems to pull a little of the spiciness from the curry out of the cabbage while reducing the heat a bit. It had a nice effect on the dish letting you enjoy all of the flavor components involved. The beer itself seems to surrender some of it’s bitter hop presence to the strong flavors of this side dish, which lets an almost sweet & sour note come through. While these worked together, we don’t think they were a perfect pairing and perhaps a slightly stronger beer would have propped the curry flavors up with more confidence. Still all in all this was nice.

Surge Protector (Barrier Brewing Company, Blind Bat Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Company, Great South Bay Brewery, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Long Ireland Beer Company, Port Jeff Brewing Company & Spider Bite Beer Company): When sampled with the cabbage, the sip becomes very sweet at first but does fade to a bitterness in the finish. Overall though a sweet taste is left in your mouth, which is a refreshing contrast from the heavily spiced cabbage. You can taste the toasted malt flavors from the beer and the sweetness from the cabbage combine and work well together. The bitterness from the hops, the myriad spices in the curry and the heat from the peppers are the supporting cast with this pairing but they never fade, just kind of skirt around the edges until you almost forget them before they pop back up.

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