Cantillon Fou Foune arrived the other day. We haven’t ever had this beer before, and it’s one of our favourites, and an extremely popular beer as well, we learned.
So why not come up with some food pairing fun…???
Personally, I love pairing lambic, and gueuze, with charcuterie, cheese and good bread (specifically soft, just slightly stinky cheese, and dark, rye bread, and something potted like rillettes). It’s a fantastic way to showcase the versatility of great beer and surprise a few people while you’re at it. The fruit, acidity, and juiciness of lambic compliment that type of meal so well, but that felt like a cop-out tonight, when I finally had my Fou Foune.
I wanted to use apricots IN the meal, as I had previously enjoyed a pork belly stuffed with apricots; rolled, breaded and pan fried with Fou Foune. Damn good. Somehow I arrived at a Moroccan-spiced Goat Stew with Couscous. I’ve been using a pressure cooker a lot lately to make a variety of Indian dishes, and this was similar (puree of mint, cilantro, ginger, chiles, added to the pan with sauteed minced onions, ras el hanout, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and then braised with a little stock and yogurt). I added the apricots at the end for about 15-20 minutes of simmering until plump and soft. I served it with a simple couscous with lemon and orange zest and sultans, and topped it with some left over yogurt, with parsley mint and aforementioned zest mixed in…
The result was beautiful. Honestly, this was one of my favourite meals I’ve ever made. But that’s probably most because of it’s resemblance to what I imagined and expected, rather than it’s overall culinary perfection.
Nevertheless, wonderful. With the Fou Foune, it was even better. The richness of the goat, cooked in yogurt, and spice, was cut by the acidity but not overshadowed. Lambic is one of the rare beverages that has both the refreshing lightness and complexity to match a meal like this. Spice and apricot, and apricot and apricot (both real, and beer-dissolved) melded perfectly with one another. To the last sip the apricot in the Fou Foune was still singing loudly.
Too often beer pairings really aren’t working together – meaning that the beer and the food are not working side by side, making each other better. This was not one of those pairings. Try it out yourself! (I don’t really feel qualified to post recipes, nor do i really cook by them, but I can give guidance if needed) Or just do the cheese/charcutiere cop-out. It’s still incredible.