When thinking of beer and food matching, the Great British tradition of a beer and a curry must take pride of place. Combining the great British tradition of drinking German lager and the great British tradition of eating Indian food, is frankly one of the things that makes Britain great. Did the Indians think of curry and lager? No they didn’t, did the Germans think of curry and lager? No they didn’t. It may be Indian food and German beer but we thought of curry and lager and it makes you proud to be British. God Save the Queen.
When I told the lady squeeze of my new activity of beer blogging and about my last gastronomical journey, apart from shaking her head and rolling her eyes, she did mention that eating a take away with a can of lager was cheating. One truly ought to cook. Me? Cook? I do on occasion cook. I cook for the same reason I occasionally Hoover, to make out that I am a modern man and not the unreconstructed Neanderthal I really am, and to put myself in the lady squeezes good books in the expectation of a bit of how’s your father. However a quick look through the cooking books on the shelf and I quickly realise that cooking a curry involves effort and shopping, and frankly I can’t be arsed.
Luckily we live in the 21st century. This, folks, is the future. We really ought to be getting about via jet packs and eating whole meals in pill form, but until the scientists pull their thumb out of there arse and sort it out we have the delight that is the microwave meal.
Now don’t think for one minute that microwave meals are unhealthy and full of crap, they contain ingredients and ingredients are a recipe and a recipe is healthy. You are just taking the leg work out of cooking by putting a bit of convenience into it. Every so often the zeitgeist changes, from cooking from scratch to using convenience foods to back to cooking from scratch. Why should we be slaves to the likes of Delia? Who is she to tell us what is acceptable? I announce now that microwave food is cooking. The application of heat to food is cooking. It’s about as much cooking as 99% of pubs do and you can be sure your kitchen is clean and not wiped down once a day with a dirty rag by a bored 19 year old. You can be sure because the missus buys domestos and uses it.
But what curry? And what beer? I go for lamb bhuna with pilau rice for one reason and one reason only, on the label is the word “hot”. Not medium, not mild, but hot. I am a heterosexual man and part of being one is eating hot curry. Failure to do so, in Britain, results in an invite to a Gay Pride march and a free pair of pink jeans from our failed government who like to promote such things in the hope of attracting the pink vote, because no one else will vote for them. Now I’m not homophobic, men with a liking for soft furnishings and the music of ABBA are unthreatening people that can give you stylish advice on clothes and male grooming and have no desire to steal your girlfriend, they may not like football but they are alright and tend to know how to mix a cocktail. Gay people have a useful role in society. I’d rather the lady squeeze talk to her gay work mate about the colour of cushions than bore me rigid with it, that’s a given. However it is important to assert ones heterosexuality in such metro sexual times. Hence hot curry.
The lager? Becks Fear. Or Vier as its spelt. My GCSE in German means I can confuse most bar staff in the country with the correct pronunciation as they haven’t got GCSE’s. If they did, they wouldn’t be barmen. Becks Vier is cooking lager nirvana. One of the finest cooking lagers on the market, and a favourite. A light, refreshing easy going beer made from proper ingredients as the can says, nothing dodgy here. A genuine reinheitsgebot German lager that’s brewed not for an authentic ABV, or even for actual Germans, but brewed to a British cooking lager ABV, resulting in a nice cold inoffensive weak pisswater. Either that or it’s just watered down regular Becks’s. Who’s to say? Now the German’s may laugh at us for drinking weak watery lager, but who won the war?
Together the curry, rice and lager combine to create a heavenly medley of complex flavours. Sweet, sour, hot, refreshed. It’s a journey into the places regular gastronomes fear to tread. We are at the cutting edge. The way to eat this is to shovel it in as quickly as possible, necking the lout to quench any heat and belching frequently. The lady may not like it, but curry and lager is man food and man business.
The lager? I’d love to write notes of chocolate, a hint of shoe leather, a rich underlying aftertaste of burnt charcoal. But thankfully the lout possesses not of that nonsense. It’s cold, fizzy and largely flavourless. Just as beer should be. Feeling a bit emasculated ‘cos you’ve been talking about male moisturising products with the missus’s gay pal over a glass of chilled chardonnay? Need to assert your masculinity to feel better but have no trees to chop down with an axe because you already chopped them down? Curry and lager, the way to assert your heterosexuality in the age of the metro sexual.