Unlike our previous character themed meals, there was a lot of consensus about the Hound’s ideal meal: Nothing fancy, a cheap cut of meat, bitter drinks, and possibly a lemoncake or two for dessert. Kathleen summed it up well, stating that the meal “should be charbroiled, unpretentious, and drowned in a sea of wine”.
We liked where a lot of you went with game meat, what with Sandor being a “hound”. The subtle poetry of hound and quarry was too appealing to resist. So, game meat it was, and we chose venison and rabbit. True, in our Middle Ages, only the nobility could hunt, but are you about to stand between the Hound and his meal? Didn’t think so.
Our grill was recently stolen, right off our porch. Otherwise we’d do a spit roasted rabbit to go with the meal. Barring that, though, we swapped in some oven roasted rabbit legs alongside the venison sausages.
A big question was whether to sear the meat, or no. Personally, we liked the idea, but could see how the Hound might not. So, we hedged our bets, searing the lamb, then hiding the evidence by braising. :) We also liked the idea of lamb, because while Sandor might be a Hound, he’s also more than a bit wolfish. Lamb shank it was, then.
Both Kate Quinn and Irian suggested bone marrow, which we loved. It evokes the image of a big mastiff gnawing on a bone in front of the fire, and also ties in with Random’s thought that “Joffrey would probably find it amusing to throw his dog a bone.” Ours is topped with applewood smoked salt.
For smaller sides, we liked Frank’s suggestion of beans thick with molasses, and Duckchick’s of sharp cheese with apples, for the Hound’s sharp words.
Our final bill of fare: black bread, bone marrow, leg of lamb, venison sausages, rabbit legs, savory beans and sharp cheese, wilted greens, and rustic lemoncakes.
Good Lord. Or the Seven. Or any other deity the Hound probably doesn’t believe in…
This is a fantastic meal.
It is obviously very heavy on the meat, but given the fighter’s lifestyle that the Hound leads, this makes sense. The three meats- lamb, venison, and rabbit- all give amazingly rich flavors to the meal. Of course, it helps that we braised the lamb and then the rabbit in mead and molasses. The venison sausage already has port in it, so each of the meats has essentially been cooked in/with booze. Even the vegetables have been braised in mead, along with the lamb, so they’re incredibly tender and tasty. And the bread! Also made with beer.
The rustic lemoncakes are a much lighter finish to a very heavy meal, and you’ll probably only have room for a couple of them.
Our drinks consultant recommends a beer made with juniper to pair with the meat dishes, in the style of a traditional Finnish Sahti. A couple good examples of this are Huvila Arctic Circle Ale and Lammin Kataja. Another interesting pairing would be a rauchbier, such as Spezial and Schlenkerla, given that the smokiness would pair particularly well with the molasses beans and cheddar.
- Chris’s suggestion of black and white truffles to represent the duality of his nature (only if you’re buying!)
- Wildling, Selkie, and Julia’s suggestions of “little birds”. We’ve got something else planned for those, though… ;)
- Irian’s list of other cheap meats, including like black pudding, head cheese, ox tongue, lard, goose fat and bacon
- Richard’s suggestion of “Black Dog” wines, especially if served on a yellow tablecloth
- roussefolle’s wonderful ideas, just exotic enough to be Westeros, amazingly delicious
- Verity’s suggestion of Baked Alaska for dessert, first for the irony of a flambe, and also because they can be made to look like a mountain, and the Hound would enjoy symbolically demolishing and devouring a Mountain