As craft brews have become more popular, there has been a growing appreciation of the variety of flavors a good beer can offer. People are starting to look at beer much in the same way that they regard wine. For beer lovers, it’s a wonderful thing. There’s a lot of culinary potential in beer, and not just as an accompaniment to your meal; it’s also a great ingredient. Like wine, which has been a staple ingredient in cooking for centuries, beer can also be used to add a distinctive flavor to a variety of dishes.
When most of us think of cooking with beer, we think of beer batter and perhaps chili. While no one can argue against a good beer battered filet of cod or a spicy chili, beer is a much more versatile ingredient than it is often given credit for. There are in fact many recipes that call for beer- from pasta dishes to desserts.
Beer Is A Kitchen Staple For Any Recipe
Much as with wine, beer can be used as a braising liquid for meats or vegetables. In these instances, the beer you choose gives a hint of its flavor to the other ingredients; much as it does in chili recipes and stews, where stouts and other dark beers are an especially popular. If you’re feeling like an experiment in the kitchen, it’s well worth giving beer a try the next time you’re at a loss for how to cook what’s sitting around in the refrigerator. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
An Ingredient For All Seasons
Beer has a place in your cooking no matter the time of year. During the colder months there are a wide variety of recipes that call for beer, like stews or stuffing recipes that pair beer with rye bread, onions and spices. During the summer months, any good Midwesterner knows that a tailgate or cookout isn’t complete without bratwursts boiled in beer.
Perfect For Desserts, Too
Beer, especially dark beer, is also a natural in desserts, where its flavor blends with chocolate to create a unique, rich flavor all its own. There are stout brownie recipes, chocolate puddings and mousses that incorporate dark beer. Beer also makes a good addition to mincemeat pies and other fruit- and nut-based desserts.
Since beer pairs so well with mustard, it would be a mistake not to mention that a beer and mustard-based sauce goes wonderfully with everything from salads to steamed asparagus to seafood.
Cooking With Beer: Resources
There are a wide variety of recipes available on the internet that call for beer as a primary ingredient. While a simple Google search will turn up many, here a few of our favorite online resources for cooking with beer.
Food & Wine Magazine: This compilation of recipes that feature beer range the gamut from tacos to risotto.
The Beeroness: This blog is a terrific resource for everything related to cooking with beer. Not only are complete recipes included but also tips and tricks for choosing the right beers to add to your own recipes. Get creating!
CraftBeer.com: This site not only has a ton of useful information on craft brews; it also a good collection of edibles that include beer as an important ingredient.
If you’re going to be enjoying a beer with dinner, you may want to try making it a part of the meal as well. There are a lot of uses for beer in the kitchen and if you’ve been making your own beer at home, that’s all the more reason to try out some beer-inspired recipes.