There was a fantastic tasting down at our local wine shop the other night. Instead of wine, we tasted several varieties of beer from Belgium, Poland and Germany. It was great for us, because our beer drinking tends to center heavily on the Pacific Northwest and we just haven’t experimented much with Belgian ales. Too bad there weren’t more tasters in attendance, but hey – more for us.
We ended up going home with a bottle of St Bernardus Abt 12, which was my favorite from the tasting (we also really, really liked Piraat Triple IPA – yum). We took care of it immediately with the help of some remarkably successful cheeseburgers and yam fries, which turned out to be an almost perfect pairing with the beer.
We’re not sure why the burgers turned out so well, but for future reference, here’s what we did: we used a pound of ground beef from our cow, completely thawed in the fridge. Jon mixed it with salt, pepper and the last few drops of our Worcestershire sauce, and formed it into two patties about an inch thick. He seared the patties in a very hot, dry cast iron skillet, about 4 ½ minutes on each side, and very very carefully not poking at them while they cooked (it was difficult for him). I had thawed a couple Breadfarm multigrain hamburger buns, toasted them and buttered them lightly. Then we just melted some cheddar on the burgers and added Bibb lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, ketchup and mayo (I don’t care what anyone thinks, I like mayo on a burger). Nothing fancy, but oh yum.
The yam fries were just a lazy variant of these, dusted with salt and spices and roasted in a hot oven until they were creamy inside and caramelized outside. Delish.