A new beer style—a beer-champagne hybrid—has recently emerged in Europe. A beire de champagne (a.k.a. biere brut) usually comes from Belgium or France (even though Brooklyn Brewery here in the States has made a few) and uses ingredients and techniques from both beer-making and wine-making to make a distinctively unique style of beer.
For this pork chop recipe, we used a biere de champagne from Mikkeller called Nelson Sauvin Brut. Dry, crisp and displaying characteristics of both beer and champagne, this quaff works perfectly alongside a fancy dinner and as an ingredient in a fancy sauce.
To create a sauce that works well with both the beer and the pork we started with a base of pancetta and fennel. And since pork and fruit go so well together, we added a healthy pour of the beer plus some fresh red grapes to round out the sauce. If this all sounds too fancy to you, just grab a bottle Miller High Life—the champagne of beers—and a McRib sandwich.
2 thick-cut pork chops
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
Set up a grill for indirect grilling. Sear the pork chops for about 2 minutes per side and then move off of the heat and cook for about 10 more minutes for medium doneness. Remove from heat, cover with foil and set aside.
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
4 slices pancetta, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 cup whole grapes
½ cup dry beer
Warm a pan to medium-high heat. Add the butter to the pan. Once it’s melted, add the pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes, until the pancetta is crispy. Add the shallots and the garlic and allow it all to cook for about 90 seconds. Add the fennel, grapes and beer and allow it to cook down for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon the sauce on top of the pork chops and serve immediately with a glass of the Nelson Sauvin Brut.