Beer and cheese are both old friends and new acquaintances: Scientists found recently that cheese dulls our ability to taste wine, so some cheese aficionados are switching to beer as an accompaniment instead. Fondue is a classic dish that’s great for casual entertaining. The crisp, grain flavours of certain beers complement nutty Gruyère and sharpish Cheddar.
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups (500 ml) lager (not light beer)
- 225 g (about 2½ cups/625 ml) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 225 g (about 2½ cups/625 ml) shredded medium Cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 large baguette or crusty French loaf, cut into 1
- 2 cups (500 ml) lightly steamed firm vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and red peppers)
- Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until softened but not browned. Add beer and heat to a simmer. Reduce heat to low.
- In a bowl, toss cheeses, flour, and dry mustard. Add mixture to beer, a handful at a time, whisking until cheese has melted and is bubbling. Whisk lemon juice into fondue; add pepper to taste.
- Carefully pour into a fondue pot and serve with bread and steamed vegetables for dipping.
- If fondue thickens on standing, thin with a little more beer.
- Reheat leftover fondue in a microwave on medium-high until soft (stir every 30 seconds) or in a double boiler, then drizzle over steamed fresh asparagus, spoon on poached eggs, or spread on toast.
- You can serve fondue with bread or vegetables alone; adjust quantities to compensate.