Drunken Speculation

Breakfast Beer Week – Potato Cakes with Guinness Extra Stout

PotatoCakesandGuinnessWe’re continuing our week of celebratory breakfast and beer ideas today with an Irish theme. Naturally we just couldn’t go past potatoes. [Insert racial slur here]. Our potato cakes will be served with sour cream and sides of roasted tomatoes and soda bread. No prizes for guessing the brand of beer we’re pairing this with.

Guinness Extra Stout is a slightly stronger, more bitter version of the original. Roasted malt flourishes in the aroma with some welcoming hints of coffee. To taste it’s all about the bitter roastiness of the malt which quickly overpowers a slight sweetness experienced on the front. Almost in contrast to the bitterness on the palate is the smooth and rounded milkiness of the mouthfeel.

The Recipe

Potato Cakes with Sour Cream, Roasted Baby Truss Tomatoes and a Soda Bread Side | Serves 2

What you need:

  • 2 cups mashed potato
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Bread crumbs to coat
  • Peanut oil
  • sour cream, to serve
  • fresh chives, to serve (optional)

For the Tomatoes:

  • Baby truss tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • olive oil

For the Soda Bread:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Butter, extra, to serve

What to do:

1. Add salt, pepper, shallots, egg yolk and flour to mashed potatoes and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or prepare a day ahead and refrigerate overnight).

2. Using a scone cutter or knife cut rounds of potato approximately 2.5 cm high and 5cm in diameter. Dip in the beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs. Transfer to a plate ready for frying.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry potato cakes until golden brown on all sides. (Works best if your oil is deep enough that you can just flip them over once.)

For the Tomatoes:

1. Prick tomatoes and place in a shallow pan or ovenproof dish. Bruise garlic with the flat edge of a knife, breaking each clove into a few pieces. Spread garlic and peppercorns evenly amongst tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil.

2. Roast in oven for the last 20 minutes of cooking the soda bread.

For the Soda Bread:

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line a tray with baking paper.

2. Sift flour, soda and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter and make a well in the centre. Add buttermilk and mix using a flat-bladed knife to form a soft dough.

3. Form dough into a ball and, on a floured surface, shape it into a 10cm round. Place on the prepared tray and cut a cross in the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with lashings of butter.

ClosepotatocakesstoutThe Match-Up

The bitter backbone of the Guinness breaks through the rich creaminess of the potato cakes while the sour cream does the job of rounding out the stout’s smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel. Contrasting with the roasted malt bitterness is the mildly flavoured soda bread which, with it’s lashings of butter, again serve to highlight the silky smoothness of the Guinness. As for the tomatoes, they are somewhat the oddity of this dish and pairing, but serve to lighten the carb-ridden nature of it. (We had to be a little bit healthy.)

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Author’s note: In the interests of full disclosure (and not appearing like raging alcoholics), Breakfast Beer Week at drunkspec was not undertaken in one week but spread over a number of weekends and holidays.

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