girl + pickled onions

I like pickles. I like beer. Now I can bring them together!

I really like pickled onions. Actually I like pretty much anything pickled. If there’s are a jar of pickled onions in the fridge I will randomly snack on them like they are bowl of chips in the middle of the table.

Pickle Club – make pickles, bring everyone together, trade pickles, laugh and eat. Repeat. Highly recommended with beer and wine. Set one up with your friends!

Naturally it was only inevitable before I tried pickling onions. Being the proud member of a little pickle club here in Perth also encourages me to play with pickles.

Wait, that sounded wrong. Let’s move on.

So I tried this recipe for Stout Pickled Onions that I found at a fun food blog called One Tomato, Two Tomato and followed almost all the directions, I excluded juniper berries because I didn’t have any. I only made one little jar and gave it away at pickle club so I never tasted it but apparently it was quite good.

My second attempt had a few more changes – apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar and I threw in some fennel seeds too, it seemed like a good idea. The fennel came out stronger than I had thought given the smaller amount compared to the other spices but it didn’t dominate the flavours. I used Coopers Best Extra Stout as the beer in the recipe because:
a) it is seriously tasty – black coffee and chocolate, with a silky mouth feel and just a little bit feisty,
b) easily found in most bottle shops, and
c) I can buy a big bottle and have plenty left over to keep me company as I pickle.

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This recipe was enough for a 700g jar –
8 small brown pickling onions
330ml Coopers Best Extra Stout
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt, sugar, black mustard seeds, coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds

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Slice the ends off the onions and peel skin off. Put beer and cider into saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in sugar and salt until it dissolves. Remove from heat, add onions and all your spices. Stir occasionally until onions start to feel a little softer.

Remove onions and place in jar, pour liquid over the top to cover. I had a little leftover liquid so I made sure to strain all the spices and pack those into the jar as a priority! Screw lid on tight, leave to cool before putting in fridge. These were good to go after about 3 days.

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Please note I don’t have a lot of pickling experience so I haven’t mentioned anything about sterilising jars or how long these will keep. I don’t think these will last long in my house anyway cause I’ll eat them all in two weeks so I figure I’m safe.

Next time I think I’ll throw in some fresh Thai chillies …

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Twitter + Temple Scarlet Sour

I had a bottle of Temple Scarlet Sour in the fridge and it was just dying to come out and play. Since I have a bit of a love affair going on with Temple, i.e. I’ve loved all their beers I’ve tried so far, I wanted to do something special with it. I took to Twitter to seek advice on food matching with Scarlet Sour.

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I had a bottle of Temple Scarlet Sour in the fridge and it was just dying to come out and play. Since I have a bit of a love affair going on with Temple, i.e. I’ve loved all their beers I’ve tried so far, I wanted to do something special with it.

I took to Twitter to seek advice on food matching with Scarlet Sour.

“Food pairing matches for Temple Scarlet Sour?”, I asked and was grateful (and hungry) at the many responses –

Beer Girl Btes Scarlet Sour Suggestion Slow Beer Mitch Brendan Jeremy

I couldn’t serve up fruit for dinner, as much as I love fruit my partner remains unconvinced. I contemplated serving up cheese as a main meal but decided this was a slippery, heart stopping slope I should not venture down. In the end I decided on pork and taleggio croquettes and turned it into a bit of a tapas style meal.

So the dinner menu looked a little something like this …

Food Matching with Scarlet Sour

With the exception of the chorizo and salad, all foods were picked in the hope they would match with the Temple Scarlet Sour based on Twitter responses.

But first, the beer … Much softer than I had expected, I had it in my head it would be lip puckering sour but it wasn’t the case. The colour was beautiful soft pink, like it was embarrassed, with aromas of berries, flowers and a little herbal too. The sourness was very soft, more of a suggestion, and just lightly carbonated with nice cranberry flavours going on. It would be a good introductory beer into exploring the sour side of the beery world.

The best matches were the taleggio cheese and surprisingly, the pickled onions. 

Taleggio and Picked Onion

I love learning about a new cheese almost as much as a new beer and I had no idea what this cheese was. Assuming you’re a taleggio-virgin too, it’s an Italian cows milk cheese washed in seawater once a week to prevent mould infestation.

I instantly loved the taleggio with its fantastic rubbery texture and mushroomy, dusty rind. Though the aromas are pretty big the flavours are soft, mild and fruity. It made for a nice compliment to the delicate floral notes in the beer.

The very surprising match of Scarlet Sour and pickled onions was actually really simple – sweet, sour and tangy all working together.

It was a nice reminder that sometimes food and beer matching is really very simple, especially a good reminder for me given my tendency to over complicate things and go over the top … but for the record, whilst the croquettes were not the best match they were definitely worth the effort.

Croquettes

Note: Since writing this post Temple Brewing have announced their voluntary liquidation through this statement. I sincerely hope they are able to return to their dream of brewing exceptional beer soon.