Updated Apr 2, 2012 - 10:39 am
A Blog of Meat and Beer: The Return of Game of Thrones
Like a red comet ripping the night sky asunder, this Sunday, April 1st, HBO brings A Game of Thrones back into our living rooms. The new season follows the great houses of Westeros as they clash on the battlefield as well as behind the stone walls of great castles. Blood will be shed, alliances broken and families ripped apart as the War of Five Kings reaches its apex.
It was 2005 when I first cracked the spine of A Game of Thrones and within eight months had consumed all four available books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones being book 1). The books are crafted expertly with incredible depth of character, vibrant atmospheres, complex mysteries, and gut wrenching losses. There is something else that stands out in the books which plays little part in the story but works magic in developing the atmosphere; food and drink.
These books tell tales of food that would make the most particular foodie's mouth water. Venison Stew, candied onions, trout baked in clay, creamy chestnut soup and potted hair are just a few of the succulent dishes set before the Lords of Westeros. Hippocras, mead, beer, sweet red wine and Dornish Sours are just a few of the beverages found with in the pages of a Game of Thrones. In honor of these fine food and drinks conjured from the mind of George RR Martin, I've come up with my own food and drink recommendations for this Sunday's glorious return of A Game of Thrones.
The first is a crock-pot pulled pork that tastes as if it was hunted in the Wolfswood and roasted in the kitchens of Winterfell.
3lb boneless pork shoulder
3tbl Brown Sugar
2 tbl Cajon seasoning
1 tbl kosher salt
1 tbl paprika
1 tesp ground cumin
1 tbl ground pepper
1 tbl dried chipotle powder
1 tbl mesquite powder
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Mix rub ingredients in large bowl. Cut meat into three chunks if large. Press rub onto all sides of meat. Place all pieces in a bowl and refrigerate over night. Next morning begin crockpot at low setting and add broth and pork. Once done remove from broth, use fork to to shred meat, empty half of broth and return meat to crock pot. Serve with bbq sauce, toasted buns and coleslaw.
And of course, any fan of A Game of Thrones will know that no meal is complete without lemon cakes. I happen to enjoy this recipe.
Now, what to drink. First of all, try and drink local. Why stuff the pockets of some Southern Lords (Sierra Nevada, Widmer Brothers, Stone Brewery), when the North produces so much good beer? My first recommendation would be Boundary Bay's Scotch Ale, a creamy dark beer with a malty, nutty aroma, and a dark bread, toffee, slightly chocolaty flavor.
If you are wanting something little less heavy than a Scotch Ale from Boundary Bay, try an Amber Ale from Hilliard's Beer. A crisp, hoppy amber that barely fits the style, it has a nice bitter profile that stands strong infront of the malt backbone.
If you are a wine drinker, well, I got nothing for you. Go back to the Arbor .
Be sure to catch the season two premier of A Game of Thrones this Sunday evening on HBO. If you are a reader, I strongly recommend picking up all five books in the Song of Ice and Fire series. Reading all five seems like a heavy commitment, but when compared to the Oath of the Nights Watch, Eddard Stark's honor, Daenery Targaryen's destiny and the repercussions of Rob Stark's love, it doesn't seem so heavy at all.
(Post and Photos by Dean Westling Except: Scotch Ale courtesy Boundary Bay, Game of Thrones courtesy HBO)
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