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…If there’s one thing that we proved empirically at the Beer & Cheese night at Beer Ritz a few weeks back, it’s that rich, deep stouts and sharp, salty blue cheese are one of the best food and beer experiences out there. Talk about complimentary. My favourite duo? Perhaps…for this week!
Anyway, add Beef *(in this case, a little steak) to the equation and you’ve got a cracker. Here’s a really simple sauce you can make that combines all those flavours. If you like Cauliflower Cheese with Beef, give this a go next time. There’s strong flavour going on, but if that’s your thing then you’ll love this.
Chop one large Leek, and saute it gently in butter. Whilst that’s going, make a simple bechamel sauce by adding flour to melted butter to create a roux, then milk slowly to that, whisking all the time. You don’t need a lot, just enough for a small side-dish.
Chop your Blue Cheese of choice (I used Blacksticks Blue in this) and add that to the sauce. Take your Leeks and add them to the sauce, along with a knife-tip of Wholegrain Mustard. Tip the sauce into a dish, top with more cheese and a grind of black pepper, and grill under a moderate heat until bubbling.
Whilst that is happening, fry your steak, adding salt once done, and get your stout poured. I opted for something a little special – Harviestoun’s Ola Dubh 12. Picked purely because it’s one of my favourites, it’s just got so much going on; almost raisin-esque sweetness in the body, a wonderful balance between fruit and smoke, and a ripple of dry, almost chocolate powder notes running through it. It’s a sublime beer, and once that is always worth picking up.

Serve it with a good steak, however, and you’ve got some wonderful things going on; the beer almost becomes sweeter as the sharp, salty cheese and rich meat takes over the palate. Also, if you’ve got any left over, you can spread it on brown toast and enjoy a bit of a posh toast-topper. Hurrah!