Recap: Swine and Dine at Salz – a second time around
On a very chilly Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Salz Bratwurst Co. co-owners chef Allan Suddaby and Mike Forgie played host to a pre-Valentine’s day Swine and Dine dinner filled with love for Alberta pork. And since Mike was involved, it also included a lineup of passionately paired craft Alberta beer pairings.
To kick things off, chef Suddaby started with a Brettljause, or traditional Austrian farmer’s plate. Our assortment of board snacks featured prebwurst (a pressed sausage also known as head cheese), house made pepperoni, liptauer (a cheese spread made with spicy paprika), rye bread, Salz pickles, and Sylvan Star Gouda.
I grew up with my parents making headcheese, so the walk down memory lane made with pig’s head was easily my favourite bite on the plate. Chef Suddaby was eager to pair his house-made meats and accompaniments with Sylvan Star Gouda – which he described as one of the best products coming out of Alberta.
For theBrettljause, Mike paired one of Allan’s favourite beers, a German style Kolsch, from Siding 14 Brewing Company from Ponoka. He felt the 5% unfiltered Kolsch was the perfect way to start the meal, with the touch of citrus providing a light and refreshing taste next to the salty array of board snacks.
I love an introduction to any meal with a charcuterie plate, so I adored our personalized boards to start the evening. The only complaint at my end of their shared table was that people wished for more bread to ensure using up every last ounce of the spicy cheese spread, which I view as a compliment to the chef as no one wanted to leave a morsel left untouched on their plate.
Chef Suddaby served not one, but two classic Austrian sausage sandwiches on Kaiser buns with all the fixins for our main course. The Nürnberger is a bratwurst style sausage, that just happens to appear on Salz’s regular menu. Our three sausage sandwich was served classic with mustard and sauerkraut, a nod to traditional Austrian/German taste. For anyone caught saying – one sausage is never enough – this is the sandwich for you.
The Leberkäse presented as a meatloaf sandwich, served with chili mayo, pickled red onion and arugula. I was a huge fan of the texture and bite of this sandwich. I learned that occasionally you may find the Leberkäse featured on the menu at Salz – stay tuned to their Instagram page for updates and features.
To sip while we savoured, Mike served up a brew from one of Edmonton’s newest breweries – S.Y.C. Brewing. The light and easy drinking white ale is brewed with coriander and orange peel, which Mike felt would compliment the aromatics present in both our Nürnberger and Leberkäse sausages. I’m sure the beer will make a regular appearance at Salz, as Mike described it as the most crushable beer those in the room were likely to encounter all year.
Our dessert has to be one of my favourite Swine and Dine desserts over the past six years. Inspired (or challenged) by this Celiac, chef Suddaby served up a gluten free, Buckwheat crepe with fresh cheese and honey, served on a Saskatoon rhubarb compote with fresh basil. I would take creamy/fruity desserts any day over a chocolate dessert, and when I realized the crepes were still warm, chef Suddaby secured a special place in my heart with my first ever Palatschinken.
If you are wondering where the pork component was – chef Suddaby explained that he used the pork lard that they render at the restaurant both in the crepe batter, as well as used to fry them with. The lard was perfectly rendered and without any bacon or pork taste; I loved the dish, and even more so after hearing of Salz’s example of food recycling and reducing food waste in a commercial kitchen.
To finish things off, Mike paired our crepes with a Fahr North Dunkelweizen. We learned that Fahr beers brewed out of Turner Valley, Alberta, are made according to Bavarian purity law for beer – made with just grain, hops, water and yeast – and are completely additive free. Mike told Swine and Diners not to be intimidated by the dark profile, the chocolate notes would pair beautifully with the sweet and savoury buckwheat crepe. As a Celiac I can’t comment on the beer pairings for the night, but the crew at my side of the table had rave reviews for Mike’s choices. Considering it was $40 for the meal and an extra $10 for the beer – our meal was an incredible value for such a unique and intimate Salz experience.
Chef Allan Suddaby and Mike Forgie are eager to share their love of pork and locally crafted Alberta brews every day, and not just for Swine and Dines. Be sure to stop by Salz to sip and savour some of the fares they have available in the unique Oliver/Queen Mary Park sausage and beer hall.