With more people set on finding exciting new ways to enjoy their alcohol, booze in the kitchen is gaining popularity fast. Forget about wine and beer, those sure are sweet and fruity but incorporating whisky into your meal speaks to your boldness and sophistication. It is no secret the Dutch love their whisky.
In 2016 alone, the value of imported scotch whisky according to Statista amounted to € 106,512,000. Not to mention events like Live The Hague; where the best whisky brands in the world, underline world, convene for 3 days to showcase and enhance the whisky culture. Talk of 15,000 people talking, tasting and breathing whisky for 3 days! So you might be wondering, what are best whiskies for cooking and how exactly can you pair your favorite glass of whisky with a barbecued meal? Bourbons, single malts, rye and pot-still whiskies are the best contenders in the kitchen. As of the latter, how to pair them with a meal, read on.
Whisky In Barbecued Meat
The Highlander’s choice of drink was whisky for ages. They sat down around the fire and sipped whisky to keep them warm as they roasted meat over open fire. Fast forward to the 21st century where whisky is literally incorporated into roasted or grilled meat. A glass of any iconic whisky is always an ideal addition to any barbecued meal. This is because it brings a certain sophisticated, earthy, bold flavor to the grilled steak.
It is said that whiskies are great in highlighting the charcoal flavours in smoked meat. Furthermore, when paired with fatter cuts like pork , whisky cuts through the heavy swaths of caramelized fat. An ideal example would be chicken in whisky marinade. In a bowl add ½ cup of brown sugar, followed by a ½ cup of whisky and ¼ cup olive oil. Mix and then add garlic powder, pepper, soy sauce and salt. Place your chicken in a container, pour the marinade over the meat, seal the container and let the meat marinade overnight or for at least 3 hours then grill. Alternatively, whisky can be used to age meat by wrapping it in a whisky soaked bandage.
Whisky In Oakwood Chips
The oak used in maturing whisky is also used to grill barbecue steaks. Oak wood chips for barbecue produce really heavy smoke that works with red meat, chicken, pork game & fish. The oak gives a scented smoke filled with tastes of caramel and vanilla when it is burnt. Whisky is used to add flavour to wood chips by adding a solution of 50% water and 50% whisky.
A perfect meal prepared with whisky soaked Oak wood chips would be smoked wings. Prepare them by cutting each wing in half; separating the flat from the drumette. Pat them dry and then season the wings with salt, pepper and sugar. Set aside in a freezer bag. Prepare the smoker with chips soaked in whisky, and let it heat up to 250°f. Remove the wings from the marinade, place them in a pan in a single layer and place them into the smoker. It takes 2 hours to cook. Serve with some sauce on the side.
Whisky In Barbecue Sauce
Whisky is used in making barbecue sauce or as a glaze thanks to the properties it acquired from being stored in oak barrels. A perfect example of whisky barbecue sauce is the honey-whiskey barbecue sauce which works best with soy marinated roasted or grilled rib. In a pan add onions, smashed garlic and whisky. Once the whisky is boiling, reduce to a simmer. Once the onions and garlic are softened, add a homemade ketchup mixture. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes then remove it from the source of heat. Pour the consistency into a mesh strainer, discard the garlic and onion pieces and serve with steak.
Barbecue and whisky individually have been used to bring friends and families together as well as ease negotiations for ages. It only makes sense to fuse the two. Wouldn’t you agree? As far as the ideal food pairs go, whisky works with cheese, seafood, roasted meats, desserts like dark chocolate and grilled meats.
Written by Lucy Wyndham
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