The word “Bánh Mì” is the Vietnamese word for “bread”, but to us at Beer Down Here, it just translates into DELICIOUS. This “bread” can be filled with a variety of ingredients including but not limited to pork, beef, chicken, sausage, pâté, fish, and tofu. Typically Bánh Mì are garnished with vegetables such as cucumber, jalapenos, cilantro and pickled carrots and daikon radishes (usually cut into match-stick sized slivers). Be sure to not to call it another “sandwich”, because it is waaaay more complex. That would be like calling the beer that we are going to cook with, Parish Brewing Co’s “Grand Reserve”, “just a beer”. In New Orleans, we consider the Bánh Mì a “Vietnamese Po-Boy”, and depending on where you grab one, it can have just as diverse of a mix of ingredients in between the bread as its New Orleans cousin. For our take on this classic loaf, we decided to use pork belly, a rich and flavorful cut of meat that will work hand in hand with the decadent and complex beer that we will be cooking with it. Read on to get our recipe for our Pork Belly Bánh Mì cooked with Parish Brewing Co’s Annual Barleywine — Grand Reserve! Also, if you wanna get extra crazy, make your own home made pickled carrots and radishes to garnish your bad ass creation!
Grand Reserve Pork Belly Bánh Mì:
2–1/2 lbs pork belly (cut into like 1"x1"x1/2" pieces)
1 lg shallot (finely diced)
1 tbsp minced garlic
Parish Brewing Co’s Grand Reserve (enough to cover the pork while it braises… don’t worry, you can drink the rest!)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 bushel of fresh cilantro
pork pâté (we used Foie Gras b/c we couldn’t find pork pâté quick enough… and why the hell NOT use foie gras anyway?)
1 loaf of Vietnamese French Bread (or regular if you can’t get the real shit)
1/2 lb carrots (julienned into matchstick-sized pieces)
1/2 lb daikon radishes (peeled and julienned into matchstick-sized pieces)
3/4 cup local sour beer of choice (we used NOLA Brewing’s Dryades and it came out great!)
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar (or apple cider or distilled if you don’t have rice wine vinegar)
1/4 cup + 2 tsp white granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
You want your pickled carrots and radishes to marinate for a few hours so make them first. They can be doing their thing in the fridge while you get your pork belly all sexy.
Sour Beer Pickled Vegetables:
Combine julienned carrots and radishes in a bowl and add the 1 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of sugar. Mix together thoroughly, while slightly kneading until you can bend the veggies almost in half without them snapping (about 8–10 minutes).
Water will form at the bottom of the bowl, so drain that and pat dry with some paper towels or a rag
Add your sour beer, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of sugar to a separate bowl and mix well
Add carrots and radishes to the beer and vinegar mix and let sit for a few hours wile you cook your pork!
Grand Reserve Pork Belly Bánh Mì:
Get a large saucepan or cast-iron skillet on high heat and add olive oil, shallots, and garlic and caramelize until medium brown and aromatic
Add your cubed pork belly and brown on all sides until beautifully caramelized
Once pork belly is browned, add enough of the Grand Reserve to cover the pork belly. This will be cooked down and used in lieu of a traditional caramel sauce. This step could take some time.
When the pork is almost done doing its thing, throw your bread in the oven to get it nice and crispy. Who on Earth wants a spongy Bánh Mì? NO ONE!
Once the barleywine thickens and the pork is nice and thoroughly cooked, you’re ready to make your Bánh Mì!
Putting it all together!
Take out your crispy bread and cut it into whatever size portion you want (we aren’t judging) and slice that in the middle…
Smear the bottom half with a healthy spread of pâté (or foie gras if you wanna be bad and boujee) and for those of us who do actually enjoy mayonnaise, spread either that or a garlic aioli on the top half.
Add your amazing pork belly
Garnish with your fresh to death pickled carrots and radishes
Top that shit off with some cilantro and jalapenos
Eat IMMEDIATELY and enjoy your creation!
The big boozy sweetness and intense flavors of the Grand Reserve really act as a nice replacement for the traditional caramel sauce; the acidic tartness of the homemade sour beer-pickled vegetables really cut through the richness of the pork belly.
We recommend pairing this culinary delight with Parish Brewing Co’s Rêve Coffee Stout because the sweetness and roastiness of this wonderful coffee stout play well with and match up to the complexities of this amazing dish!
As always, if you try this recipe, tag us on social media @beerdownhere #beerdownhere or drop us a line to let us know what you think!