… Part 4
The Pizzas came out so delicious, and could have been considered as the meal itself. But as in my typical fashion of gluttony and enthusiasm, this was just the beginning. Be we actually enjoyed a beer on its own before the pizza. I was home alone cooking and prepping until now when Alana and her boyfriend, my good friend Mark, arrived home. I had a winter beer ready for them by a French brewery called Saint-Sylvestre. And there was a very good reason I choose to begin with this.
The Saint-Sylvestre Brassin D’Hiver is an 8% winter beer (known as a Biere de Garde) that comes in a 750 corked bottle with a metal clamp on it. I had had this beer before, and that precisely why I chose to share it with my friends, because it’s incredible and I wanted them to enjoy it! It pours clean raising a medium light head which rests contently on top of the rich mahogany red beer. It’s completely transparent and strikingly gorgeous. The nose is great; filled with floral fields, dried fruit, plums, banana, cherries, a hint of clove and a light hop spice. The nose may be great, but wait until you taste this thing! It’s filled with caramel, warm bread, rich malt, brown sugar, and dried fruit. This all hits you right away, then slowly peels back to reveal delicate cinnamon, banana, berries, and crisp hop all balanced by a fleck of tartness. Let this warm a bit more, and the dried fruit and blood orange begins to make its way to the forefront. It finishes light and crisp, and is exceptionally refreshing. I’ve never seen this in Ontario, but it’s only about $7 in Quebec, and about the same in the U.S. So, get on your horse and go find some!
As we finished our beers and Pizzas I began to finish the potatoes. This would give us about an hour before we had to eat again; which was a good thing in this case; we definitely needed some time to relax.
The potatoes didn’t take much; boil, drain and slightly cool the now soft potatoes, mash them with cream, butter, salt, pepper, and asiago cheese. I prefer asiago to cheddar or almost any other cheese in this instance because of the rich sharpness it adds to the spuds without overwhelming the flavor. Asiago has a great way of complimenting the creamy potatoes without becoming the dish itself. With this delectable and fluffy mound of potatoes, and the onions from before all ready, I began to build the end product. In a tall baking dish I layered potatoes with onions 3 times ending with potatoes and shredded asiago cheese. This bubbled away slowly in the oven still at 325 degrees. The meat and the spuds would all come out close to the same time ready for the table – SWEET!
… Part 6