Roasted Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
Abbey Grand Cru is a huge, complex brew: it shares many characteristics with Abbey, but it is even larger in aroma, and more robust and warmer in the mouth than Abbey. Big creamy desserts (banana crème brulee, caramel nut cheesecake) would not be wrong with this brew. But I love pairing Abbey GC with equally complex savory dishes that both compliment and tame the brews' sweetness and alcohol warmth.
One of my favorite Abbey Grand Cru pairings is roasted vegetable stew and dumplings liberally sprinkled with herbs, olive oil, and a feta or cotija cheese. It's a warming pair for cool weather - my ultimate comfort food! The natural sweetness of roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and onions compliment Abbey Grand Cru nicely. At the same time, this beer is big enough to stand out against the flavors of herbs de province, thyme, rosemary, buttery dumplings, and strong olive oil. The crumbled cheese adds a delicate tart taste to the meal and ties it all together; I recommend an aged goat milk cotija if you can find it.