Lagers—which include pilsners, helles, bocks, Schwarzbier, and more—are clean-tasting, lighter-alcohol beers that make you think of walking in the rain and cheering on the World Cup. They’re good, all-around food beers, and perfect to serve with pretzels and mustard. Sweeter bocks, such as doppelbocks, can complement heartier, spicier desserts, such as pumpkin pie or spice cake.
Glassware: Tall Pilsner Glass

Pairing Thoughts …

Light lagers such as pilsners and helles retain a crisp, clean flavor and a fair amount of bitterness. The helles is more delicate and will require lighter preparations such as baked white fish while the “real” pilsner (as opposed to the mass market fizz) has more hop and malt character. The bright bitterness makes this beer great with seafood. Light pilsners are known for their sweet malt, refreshing bitterness and carbonation, and bright floral aromatics. Pilsners work great with Thai food, Mexican, seafood, andcold ham and cheese sandwiches .

Darker lagers add a roasted complexity from the darkened malts that can pick up on charred light meats. With slightly sweet and caramel flavors, they can be good with sweet and sour dishes like Venison with a Cherry Reduction Sauce.


Jerk Chicken Wings

Serves 10

For the marinade
•    2 cups finely chopped scallion
•    2 Scotch bonnet or habañero chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves) plus, if desired, additional Scotch bonnet chilies for garnish
•    2 tablespoons soy sauce
•    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
•    5 teaspoons ground allspice
•    3 teaspoons English-style dry mustard
•    2 bay leaves, center ribs discarded and the leaves crumbled
•    2 garlic cloves, chopped
•    1 tablespoon salt
•    2 teaspoons sugar
•    1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
•    1 teaspoon cinnamon

•    5 pounds chicken parts, the wing tips discarded

1. In a food processor or blender purée the scallion, the 2 chilies, the soy sauce, the lime juice, the allspice, the mustard, the bay leaves, the garlic, the salt, the sugar, the thyme, and the cinnamon.

2. Divide the chicken parts between 2 heavy-duty resealable plastic bags and spoon the marinade over them, coating them well. Seal the bags, pressing out the excess air, and let the chicken marinate, chilled, turning the bags over several times, for at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.

3. On an oiled rack set 4 to 6 inches over glowing coals grill the chicken, in batches if necessary, and cover if possible, for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Transfer the chicken as it is cooked with tongs to a heated platter; keep it warm, covered loosely with foil, and garnish the platter with the additional chilies.


Venison with Cherry Reduction Sauce

Serves 6

•    1/2 cup port or other sweet red wine
•    1/2 cup dried tart cherries
•    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
•    1 (14 1/4-ounce) can fat-free beef broth
•    16 whole allspice
•    16 juniper berries (optional)
•    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
•    1/8 teaspoon pepper
•    6 (4-ounce) venison tenderloin steaks (about 1 1/2 inch thick)
•    2 teaspoons margarine
•    Cooking spray
•    1/2 cup minced shallots
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    2 teaspoons water
•    1 teaspoon cornstarch

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover; set aside.

2. Place allspice and juniper in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon allspice mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper over venison. Melt margarine in a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add venison; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat to medium; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove venison from skillet; keep warm.

3. Add shallots and garlic to skillet, sauté 2 minutes. Add cherry mixture, 1 teaspoon allspice mixture, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup (about 3 minutes). Combine water and cornstarch; add to cherry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve sauce with venison.

Note: You can substitute 1/2 cup cranberry juice for the port, if desired.

From Cooking Light