Top pairings | Beers to match Mark Hix's St Patrick's Day recipes

Top pairings

Beers to match Mark Hix's St Patrick's Day recipes

Looking at Mark Hix’s Irish-inspired recipes in the Independent today my first thoughts were about beer rather than wine. I don’t think he’d have the slightest objection.

Breaded breast of lamb with split peas
A thrifty dish that used to be known as ‘epigrams of lamb’ - the breast of lamb is pre-cooked then sliced, breadcrumbed and fried. It’s served with a sharpish, mustardy split pea dressing which would make it a tricky dish to pair with wine but a good British - or Irish - bitter or pale ale would hit the spot perfectly

Oyster stew
A creamy oyster stew - which contains the same sort of ingredients as a chowder - oysters, potatoes and leeks - might sound a less easy match with a Guinness than a plate of oysters au naturel but I still think it would work. Alternatively you could go for a Chablis, white burgundy or other subtly oaked chardonnay.

Boiled meats
A very plain dish where the flavour of the meat itself is key. Mark doesn’t suggest an accompanying condiment like the Italian salsa verde or punchy, bittersweet mostarda di cremona but I think one would be looking for something with a bit of a kick. I’d probably go for a good quality pilsner with this unless the flavours of any accompanying vegetables were particularly strong. If you wanted to drink wine you could try a good Valpolicella.

Guinness-baked ham hock
Guinness again seems the obvious pick with this dish but it also contains 5-6 tbsp of honey which I’m worried would make it (the Guinness) taste bitter and thin. A London porter might cope better or even an American smoked ale such as Rogue. Winewise I’d be looking at a Zinfandel.

For some more suggestions as to what to cook on St Patrick’s Day click here

Image © draghicich -


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