Holiday Beers · Winter Beer

Mad Elf with a Simple Cassoulet

The holiday season is in full swing. 2017 is just around the corner and if you have a family like mine, then you guys are probably running around visiting everyone you haven’t seen in the past few years.

This week I wanted to have something relaxing and holiday themed. So I picked up some Mad Elf and got the recipe for Cassoulet from my sister. Is it the prefect combination of peaceful meal and Christmas Cheer? Well…

The Beer:

 I think Tröegs Independent Brewing Company had a lot of fun coming up with this beer. It has some fun art on the bottle label and only comes out once a year.

dscn1155Style: Spicy Belgian ale brewed with honey and cherries and is 11% alc/vol

Color: Ruby Red (as advertised)

Aroma: Cherries and ale

Taste: It has the distinct taste honey while the cherries are more like background notes.

Level of Recommendation: This is a beer for people who like fruit (particularly cherries) and holiday spices with their beer.

The Food: 

  • Thick bacon or ham dscn1154
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1 can of Great Northern Beans
  • 2 Sausages (I used sage sausages, but garlic is a good substitute)
  •  1 can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup of Chicken Broth
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  •  Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh or dried Thyme
  • Salt

Brown the bacon/ham and sausages. Add them to a crock pot. Dice the carrots, onion, and celery. Allow them to cook down for a few minutes before adding them to the crock pot. Rinse the beans and crush the garlic before adding them along with the chicken broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and salt.

Cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with crusty bread.

The Pairing: 

dscn1157

I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t think that this pairing works. Don’t get me wrong the food is delicious and the beer fine. They are just not as complimentary as I thought they would be. The sausages and bacon bring out more of the cherry flavor in the beer, but that’s the only thing that stands out about this.

Level of Recommendation: I probably wouldn’t pair these two together again. Individually they have their good qualities.

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