Recently, I was fortunate enough to judge beer for the Good Food Awards alongside Michael Pollan, and it made me realize something. I should cook with beer more! So I did. These beer-poached pears are simply decadent. The Orange and Black brew gives them this subtle citrus and eucalyptus flavor and the 91% cocoa chocolate sauce highlights the beer's deeper notes. Both of these ingredients are from this year's Good Food Award winners.
Beer Poached Pears
4 medium sized red bartlett pears
1 bottle of Moylan's Orange & Black Congrats Ale
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of honey
1/4 cup of sugar
1 heaping teaspoon of cardamom
1 91% dark chocolate bar by Theo (3 oz.)
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 heaping tablespoon of sugar
1. Wash and dry the red bartlett pears. Now, you want your pears to be ripe but still firm. The squishier they are, the more annoying it is to peal them. If they are a bit overripe, put them in the freezer for about an hour before peeling them. That will help a bit.
2. Remove the bottom of each pear. You do this for two reasons. One, so the pear can stand up when you serve it and two, so you can core the pear. Now, you don't really have to core the pear but I find the seeds can make the pears a bit bitter once they are poached.
3. Add your beer and all of the poaching ingredients to a small sauce pan, and slowly warm to a mild boil. Be careful as the beer will quickly boil over. If you do not have Moylan's Orange and Black on hand, do not worry. You could easily use a porter for this recipe. Moylan's has some nice citrus to it along with a nice eucalyptus finish on it.
4. Add the pears to beer mixture and cook for about 20 minutes, until they are nice and tender.
Look how beautiful these turn out. You almost don't need the chocolate sauce; I said almost!
5. To make the chocolate sauce, add the milk to a shallow sauce pan and warm it over a medium-high heat. When it is steaming but not boiling, add the chocolate bar and sugar. Reduce the heat and mix slowly until the ingredients combine.
6. Now, before you cover the pears in chocolate sauce, let them cool. Or this sauce will just melt off.
Visit the Green Wine Guide for more vegetarian recipes and wine pairings.
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