Chef Bob Waggoner, of Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, puts a Southern spin on the homey French country cassoulet by replacing the usual duck or goose confit with three varities of pork.
Like wine, beer can harmonize with food, making them both more enjoyable. Here are some tips for matchmaking success.
Rather than red wine, try ale, which has similar traits-fuller, more complex flavors, with hops standing in for tannins.
For white wine, substitute lager, which pairs well with poultry and fish. Lighter-bodies beers are generally a good choice for appetizers and lighter dishes.
Seek hoppyness: Hops give beer a variety of floral and other notes and impart a palate-pleasing edge that goes well with spicy or creamy dishes but can overwhelm more delicate ones. A hoppy ale plays well against the richness of salmon.
Complement flavors, matching sweet with sweet and tart with tart. A dry pale ale that pairs beautifully with a savory stew will clash with a dessert, but a sweeter, malty ale won't.
Contrast flavors. A dry stout is a classic match for chocolate cake. A full-bodied ale is a natural fit for a grilled steak, but a good lager can be a crisp foil for those smoky, juicy flavors.