Smoked Carrots: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Mar 2016 | Issue #110

The smoked carrots dish has been on the menu at Central Provisions, a farm-to-table restaurant in Portland, Maine, that focuses on small plates, since it opened in early 2014. It’s a plate that elevates local, organically grown heirloom carrots into a composed dish that stands on its own instead of occupying the role of mere supporting side vegetable. Orange, yellow, purple and red carrots are sourced from Stonecipher Farm in Bowdoinham, Maine. First, the carrots are hot smoked with hay, barrel staves, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Then, they are sautéed to order in brown butter with fresh thyme, alderwood-smoked sea salt and chives. To finish the dish, the carrots are tossed in a pistachio-honey vinaigrette and plated on a swoosh of housemade goat cheese. Chef and co-owner Christopher D. Gould shares three beer pairings.

Hennepin | 7.7% ABV
Brewery Ommegang
This hearty Belgian farmhouse Saison is brewed with grains of paradise, coriander, ginger and sweet orange peel. The warm spices we use to smoke the earthy carrots complement Hennepin’s spice characteristics. At the same time, the beer’s crisp finish and moderate hoppiness cut through the creamy goat cheese.

Curieux | 11.0% ABV
Allagash Brewing Co.
Allagash’s Tripel aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels is smooth with notes of vanilla and coconut from the oak. Because we use staves from Allagash’s barrels to smoke our carrots, this pairing is obvious. This full-bodied beer complements the richness of the goat cheese, while elevating the sweet notes from the carrots and the honey in the vinaigrette.

Gose | 3.4% ABV
Rising Tide Brewing Co.
A tart German wheat ale made with local seawater, coriander and Lactobacillus, this brew’s tangy salinity refreshes the palate after a bite of rich, buttery carrots. The sour notes also contrast with the sweetness of the root vegetables, making them seem richer.