Cooking made interesting for whiskey fans
Whiskey is renowned for complementing lots of different foods, but it’s a great addition within a dish as well, says charcuterie master and one of Republic of Ireland’s top trending chefs, Rob Krawczyk.
Krawczyk, who has been using whiskey in his cooking and meat curing processes for years, highly recommends the spirit for adding extra character to an array of dishes. Here are his five top tops to cooking with whiskey:
1. Whiskey enhances the flavours of your food
The complex blend of Irish whiskey can enhance the flavours in your dish as the malt fermentation process, the distillation process, and the maturation process allow the whiskey to soak up a diverse range of flavours - from the woody flavours of the casks to the sweet undertones of the malt. These flavours are then drawn out in the dish and amplified to bring a unique richness and depth of taste.
2. It can reinvent a traditional dish
Once the alcohol burns off the whiskey, you are left with deep and robust flavours to be creative with - enough to complement and add a kick to traditional recipes, but still subtle and careful not to overpower the end result. This allows you to stay true to the original recipe while getting creative and show your own culinary flair to create new traditions to pass on to others.
3. It can make for some amazing sauces
Whether it’s sweet caramel flavours or savoury nutty notes that you’re looking for in a sauce, whiskey will add an extra sense of vigour, from breakfast right through to dinner. Whether it’s drizzled over a stack of pancakes, poured over a perfectly cooked steak, or used to create a dip for your churros for dessert, whiskey is the “je ne sais quoi” of any signature dish.
4. It will bring your desserts to a whole new level
Adding a splash of whiskey to your dessert will give it an unforgettable, rich flavour, and pull out the fruity, sweet notes. It is recommended to use whiskies aged in sherry casks for desserts, such as Bushmills Black Bush, as they are known to have fruitier notes which will complement any sweet treat.
5. Dark spirits are a fantastic accompaniment to meat
When it comes to whiskey, the natural pairing is red and dark meat. Whiskey can be used right from the meat curing process, bringing out the rich character of the whiskey and in turn, the whiskey enhances the subtle cure mix of spices in the meat.
This month, Krawczyk will host a hands-on charcuterie masterclass, ‘Black Bush Cured’, at D.I.V.E Belfast on July 25 in collaboration with Bushmills Irish Whiskey. The interactive event will see him teaching attendees how to use the iconic whiskey to cure and smoke their own meat.
The masterclass is part of the #BlackBushStories campaign - a collaborative event series celebrating the stories and crafts of independent, spirited and extraordinary talent across Ireland.
To register for ‘Black Bush Cured’ and to read more about Rob’s story, visit blackbushstories.com.