Beer isn’t just for drinking: 10 recipes that use a brew

You’ve probably cooked with wine before, but what about beer? In addition to being a refreshing alcoholic beverage, a good ale — or lager, pilsner, [insert your favorite type of beer here] — can be just the ingredient your dish needs.

A few pointers: When cooking with beer, it’s probably a good idea to stick to one you don’t mind drinking. If you despise the taste of Budweiser, you might not like it in your stew either. And be careful with India Pale Ales; while they’re our favorite type to drink, they can sometimes be overpowering in a dish.

Next time you’re feeling adventurous, skip the wine, buy a six-pack and give one of these recipes a try.

 

Jalapeno and beer brined pork chops

Homesick Texan found the perfect way to add a whole lot of flavor to a simple pork chop: Brine it in jalapenos, garlic, salt, pepper, brown sugar, lime juice, cilantro, beer and water for four hours. All you need to do afterward is cook it — no extra seasonings or sauces necessary (though the recipe developer does suggest trying it with a splash of green sauce or pico de gallo).

 

Beer bean stuffed poblano peppers

Buy some Negro Modelo for this South-of-the-border recipe from Sara and Hugh Forte’s “The Sprouted Kitchen,” which cooks black beans in a mix of beer, chipotle, onion, garlic and cinnamon. (We dare you not to suddenly crave some Mexican food after reading that.) The beans are then mixed with chopped tomatoes and stuffed inside a poblano pepper with Jack cheese, crumbled cotija and lime juice, and the whole thing is baked. This is one of those recipes that’s so shockingly good, we forget it’s vegetarian.

 

Steamed shrimp with lager, lemon and thyme

Here’s a great way to use your favorite lager: This Tyler Florence recipe makes a court bouillon with lager, cider vinegar, lemon, garlic, mustard seeds, red chiles, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and — the best part — Old Bay seasoning. (Just talking about it is making us yearn for summer.) Steam the shrimp in the court bouillon, and you have juicy, flavorful shrimp that only took 25 minutes to make.

 

Beer risotto with mushroom garlic chicken

Yes, there is another chicken and beer recipe other than beer butt chicken! Even if you’re not a fan of beer, you’ll love this recipe from How Sweet It Is, which makes a risotto with Arborio rice, beer, chicken stock and Parmesan, and tops that with crispy chicken breasts (or thighs), mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Stay away from the stout for this recipe; you’re better off with something lighter like an ale.

 

Beer braised cabbage

Another good one for the vegetarian (or non-vegetarian), this recipe from KathEats.com uses celery, garlic, some butter, cabbage, beer, mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. While it’s not going to win any beauty competitions, this side dish is a wonderful complement to sausage. Your best bet for beer is probably an amber ale.

 

Carbonnade beef and beer stew

Can you say comfort food? This Belgian beef stew (aka carbonade flamande) recipe from SimplyRecipes.com offers a sweet and sour flavor from the onions (sweet) and some mustard or vinegar (sour), and uses a Dutch oven to cook the chuck roast in Belgian beer. The website recommends using a Belgian ale, and — if you can’t find a Belgian-style ale — it suggests trying Newcastle Brown Ale or Anchor Steam. For a healthy twist, substitute turkey for the beef.

 

Mussels in Mexican beer

How would you like a yummy seafood dinner ready in 10 minutes? Rachael Ray’s Mexican beer mussels take less than that, cooking the surprisingly affordable shellfish in a mixture of garlic, onion, jalapeno, tomatoes and beer. Like the stuffed poblano peppers (see above), this recipe works really well with Negro Modelo.

 

Carrots braised in beer and carrot juice

A simple side dish that takes only 30 minutes and minimal effort, this carrot recipe from Food and Wine requires only six ingredients: carrots, carrot juice, beer, sugar, butter and salt. Choose a hoppy beer, like a pilsner.

 

 

“Little kick” jalapeno turkey burgers

We already knew that burgers and beer go together, but we had no idea they’d be so good cooked together. This Taste of Home recipe combines the ground turkey with jalapeno peppers, cilantro, light beer, hot pepper sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne; cooks the burgers; and tops them with pepper Jack cheese, some fat-free sour cream, lettuce and a roll. At only 254 calories per burger, we’d say this is a winner.

 

Stout braised lamb shanks

If you were wondering when we were going to get to the Guinness, here it is. This Williams-Sonoma recipe cooks lamb shanks with an Irish stout braising base in a slow cooker until the meat practically falls off the bone. Serve with a side of root vegetables, like carrots or parsnips.

 

 

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