It is no newsflash that small-batch hard cider has made quite a comeback in the last few years. There are a lot of consumers who have yet to open their minds (and then their mouths) to welcome this old-world alcoholic, and gluten-free beverage. Pairings are always an excellent way to segue into something new, like this Guide to Pairing French Ciders by our friends at Cider Culture.
To make our invite to ciders extra enticing, we added the comfort of breakfast/brunch. Anyone who wasn’t prepared to explore hard cider before will certainly get in the mood when breakfast hash, sweet oatmeal, and a refreshing “cidermosa” enter the picture. Did we mention you can stay at home in your pjs? Check out the pairing guide below then visit your local bottle shop or cidery and get ready to brunch your way to loving cider.
Roasted Veggie, Steak & Egg Hash with Wyndridge Farms Crafty Hopped Hard Apple Cider
Why This Pairing Works
This dish is a little spicy, salty, and savory, with a wide range of flavors coming through from the roasted veggies, sauteed kale and robust steak. Adding a beverage to the mix with a lot of depth and overpowering flavor could complicate things for your tastebuds. Wyndridge Farms’ Crafty Hopped Hard Apple Cider is perfectly semi-sweet, and the hops give it a beautiful, crisp and clean finish. You won’t lose the delicious taste of the locally pressed apples but they won’t interfere with your complex dish either.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Season about 5 fingerling potatoes, chopped into large bites, skin on, with 1/2 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp paprika, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin. Toss to coat.
- Season 1 sweet onion, skin and tops removed, then sliced into wedges lengthwise, with 1/2 Tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake onions and potatoes for a total of 25-35 minutes, flipping once near the halfway point. Remove from oven and set aside when the onions are brown and caramelized, and the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
- While vegetables are roasting, get a cast iron skillet or your grill to a medium-high heat. Cook your steak (or meat of choice) to your liking. Feel free to substitute seasoned tofu as a vegetarian option.
- Let the steak sit for a few minutes when finished. Scramble ½ cup milk or cream and 3 eggs in a mixing bowl in the meantime. Okay, now cut the steak into bite-size pieces.
- Once the potatoes and onions are almost done cooking, add 1/2 Tbsp oil, add 1 large bundle kale, chopped, stems removed, to a large skillet. Sauté, stirring frequently, to wilt the kale – about 3-4 minutes.
- Mix scrambled eggs in with the kale.
- To serve top kale & eggs with roasted sweet potatoes and onion, then steak. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and cheese if you got em’ and enjoy!
Apple Pie Oatmeal with Dates & Cinnamon with 1911 Cinnamon Hard Apple Cider
Why This Pairing Works
When pairing food and drink, we often look to feature contrasting characteristics, such as sweet and salty, but the flipside, when you pair similar qualities, is quite enjoyable as well. The 1911 Hard Apple Cider and Apple Oatmeal are both sweet but not too sweet in such a way that each bite, followed by a sip, is pleasantly reinforcing. We recommend even using a splash of the Hard Cider when roasting the apples.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium oven-safe skillet (cast iron is best), toss 2 tart or sweet, cored and evenly sliced apples, with 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp 1911 Cinnamon Hard Apple Cider, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp honey or maple syrup. Bake for 5 minutes then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes more (20 minutes total) until soft. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over high heat, add 1 cup oats, pinch salt, 1 cup water and 1 cup milk (of your choice). Turn to low heat when boiling, add finely chopped dates (about 4), and cook until thick and creamy.
- Once thick, remove from stove. Add a little milk if it’s too thick.
- Arrange baked apples in bottom of a serving bowl and top with oats. Quickly toast a few almonds in the cast iron skillet you used to bake the apples. Sprinkle cinnamon, honey and toasted almonds on top. Feel free to add additional toppings of your choice.
Fresh Juice Cidermosa with Jack’s Hard Cider Helen’s Blend
Why This Pairing Works
Jack’s Hard Cider’s Helen’s Blend is fruit forward with a little bit of a tangy kick but relatively mild overall. The fresh juice of a sour grapefruit and tart blueberries, plus the splash of lemon brightens the flavor of tart apples on the front end. This is perfect for the “light breakfast” goer who appreciates the brunch scene but likes to keep meals small early in the day. This is also a great way to transition a spritzer or mimosa lover over to the hard cider side.
- Muddle a few frozen blueberries and seasonal herb in the bottom of your frosty glass.
- Juice a full grapefruit and half a lemon.
- Add fresh juice to your glass. You want it to fill about halfway.
- Pour Helen’s Blend into the juice to fill the remainder of the glass and give it a quick stir.
- Garnish with fresh herb sprig of your choice. We used rosemary!