On a late Wednesday afternoon my stomach was rumbling and I wanted a beer. I will be the first to admit that this is not a particularly unusual state for a day in my life. A quick look on Facebook reminded me that The Pourhouse does Curry+Beer for $20 every Wednesday. Since it was my night to cook dinner the offer was all the more enticing.
My boyfriend and I went straight after work and as it turns out we were not the only ones who decided that getting there early would be a good idea with pockets of the venue were already filling up. The temptation of The Pourhouse was doubled with the week long event – ‘Chocolate Stout Challenge’ – a friendly competition between South West breweries, Cheeky Monkey Brewery & Cidery and Eagle Bay Brewing Company who are each pouring their limited release chocolate stout.
We went directly to the bar, eager to participate in the friendly stout versus stout competition. Cheeky Monkey’s Chocolate Stout is brewed in cahoots with Gabriel Chocolate whilst Eagle Bay collaborated with Bahen & Co Chocolate Makers to brew a Cacao Stout. Whilst chocolate stout may not go with curry it was almost an alliterative match and that was good enough for us.
Our visits to The Pourhouse are frequently defined by boardgames and beer (hello again alliteration!). In the spirit of tradition we picked up a game of monopoly and settled in for a couple of hours. I have never really played Monopoly with any real sense of strategy which is perhaps why I was left broke on several occasions. Constantly paying super tax and ending up in prison a lot certainly didn’t help matters either. We played throughout dinner and enjoyed another couple of beers, this time a Moody Cow Porter and Colonial IPA.
The curries were tasty and naan bread is a must and at just $2 its hard to resist. The Pourhouse gives you the choice between three curries – lamb, chicken and eggplant. The promotional material suggests only James Squire beers are available with the curry but don’t fret – you’ll have a choice of whatever is on tap – happy days!
As the night went on we suddenly realised we were sitting in a venue that was now standing room only. Not too bad for a Wednesday night during winter in Dunsborough.
Between several games of Monopoly where I was forced to mortgage most of my properties, four beers and two delicious curries we ended up walking out the door very happy and completely forgetting to cast our votes in the Chocolate Stout Challenge. Never mind, another great night at The Pourhouse enjoying a variety of great local beers … no wonder we moved to the South West!
I do like my chilli and I like my American Pale Ales, good thing they are such good bed fellows! Beautifully floral flavours going head to head with a bit of heat and spices. Gotta love it. Who says eating at home is boring?!
Oh wonderful Pale Ale, let me count all the foods that go together so nicely with you!
A case of Little Creatures Pale Ale made its way home with my boyfriend on Friday night so it has been a bit of a Pale Ale + Chilli-Fest at the house. It’s one of those classic matches, it comes up constantly in beer + food writings. I’ve done it in a number of events and it’s always been really well received. It’s the floral and the bitterness going up against the heat of the chilli and the balance of flavours in everything, food and beer. The bubbles kinda make way for more food flavours to come in, like rolling out a long welcome mat.
Here’s what has been cooking on the stove this weekend, simmering slowly and devoured in minutes!
Green Chicken & Potato Curry
Chicken Breast, cut into large pieces
Ruby Red Potato, diced
1/2 Red & 1/2 Green Capsicum, cut into strips
Button Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Onion, finely diced
2 cloves Garlic, finely diced
Red and Green Chilli
4 big spoons of Green Curry Paste (despite the fact the jar only calls for 3)
Cook chicken, add rest and simmer for as long as it takes! I cheat and nuke the potato before throwing it in the curry to simmer. I threw in a tablespoon of plain flour too to really thicken up the sauce. Serve with Rice and a great American Pale Ale!
Chilli in a Toasted Turkish Bread Bowl with Capel Cheddar Beef Mince
1 teaspoon Spiced Stout Chutney
2 cloves Garlic, finely diced
Nandos Extra Hot Peri Peri Sauce
Shredded Capel Cheddar
Fresh Turkish Bread Rolls
Throw everything into a big pan and let it simmer away happily. Pop your buns into the oven (*ahem*) and let them get all toasty and warm.
Cut into the bun, take its guts out and whack in the chilli! Garnish with cheese (yup, cheese garnish – nothing fancy here) and put its head back on. Oh and don’t forget the sour cream. Tasty and oh-so-winter food …
Curry is certainly what I’d classify as LOUD food and proved to be a great match with The Quiet American. Great to play with locally produced foods as well, this dish uses Crunch Preserves Chilli Achar, made in Busselton, and enhanced the curry and stood up boldly to the fresh American hops
It’s not a secret that beautifully hoppy beers can be great partners to food with a bit of heat in them, like a loved-up couple. It’s about balance between hop bitterness in your beer and heat in your dish. So it’s not about using so much chilli that it brutally murders your taste buds, subjecting them to a slow and painful death, but instead it’s about being just spicy enough so the hop bitterness from a gulp of delicious IPA or Pale Ale enhances that spice.
As winter approaches I will be doing a short series on beer and curry experiments as I’ve read lots of bits and pieces on lager with curry, links between India Pale Ale and curries (it seems the British ‘Curry and Pint’ night is a pub favourite) and played around a little with beer & food matching for small events in the past but I think it requires a more dedicated approach. And yes, if it means drinking more beer and making lots of different curries then I’m happy to take on the role. I’m just dedicated like that.
Anyway, back to the point of The Quiet American, Little Creatures latest limited release, and another LOUD dish – Curry!
My boyfriend and I got home from work late one night and decided curry was a tasty but easy, ‘cannot-be-stuffed-with-anything-else’ dinner. We used sauce from a jar and added some locally produced Chilli Achar (Crunch Preserves) just for shits and giggles. And by “some” I refer to the massive dose that fit on the largest spoon we could get into the jar. Incidentally, the Chilli Achar was an impulse purchase from Boyanup Petrol Station on our Ferguson Valley adventuring where we also got bird seed … love country towns. Moving on … our Chicken Madras Curry with Chilli Achar, Mushrooms and Red Onion was another great hit with The Quiet American. I’m really enjoying the way red onion plays with the rich sweetness in this beer though my opinion is bias since I have started a (totally healthy) love affair with red onion and add it to almost every single dish. It tastes good and it’s just so darn pretty (there’s a joke in there somewhere). With the addition of the Harissa Paste, the curry carried the right amount of heat matched with the American hop bitterness. I keep saying “matched” because, well, it’s accurate but it’s more than that. It enhances and alters the spice flavours, like a collaboration between two great brewers that gets all beer geeks excited.
Chicken Madras Curry with Chilli Achar, Mushrooms and Red Onion
1 Chicken Breast, diced
Jar Madras Curry Sauce
Massive dollop of Crunch Preserves Chilli Achar (or Chilli Pickle)