Smoked Ham Sandwich with garden veggies
I stumbled upon this pairing one Sunday afternoon when I took a lunch break from working outside in the yard. I pulled out a nice crusty French-style baguette and piled on the applewood smoked ham, brie cheese, heirloom Cherokee Purple tomato (that I had just pulled from my garden), thinly sliced red onion, mixed greens, Dijon mustard and a touch of balsamic vinegar. I poured a chilly Belgo into a worthy glass and dug in.
There's a lot going on in a sandwich like this but the Belgo was up to the task. The beer complemented all elements of the sandwich and also served to cleanse my palette between bites. The resinous bitterness from all of the hops really served to cut through the salty/savory flavors of the ham and brie, while the fruity flavors from the hops and ester profile complimented the tomato and the balsamic. Something unexpected was how nicely the subtle spicy character of the beer (due to the yeast phenolics and spicy hop contribution) brought out the Dijon and red onion. Washing the last bite of this tasty creation down with a couple of Belgo IPA quaffs capped off a perfect low key lunch.