4 ways to cook up a culinary storm with beer
The benefits of beer extend far wider that opening up a cold one after a long hard day. Why not move a step further and combine the drink into your cooking routine and try some of the following ideas – a versatile ingredient to refresh the palette and the body.
Beer Batter – Fish, Onion Rings or Calamari
Many gastropubs have been using this method for years. The beer works like sparkling water to carbonate the mix and provide a light, airy and crisp batter
The alcohol contained in beer also plays a key role in moderating the internal temperature and crisping the crust. Alcohol evaporates faster than water, so a beer batter doesn't have to cook as long as one made only with water or milk.
Beer Can Chicken
Basically, this is where you stand the chicken up around a can of beer. The method of opening the upright beer can allows the contents of the can to evaporate and keep the meat moist during cooking.
Marinades and Braising
One of the most effective ways to cook with beer is to use it as a tenderising marinade. Beer contains enzymes that help break down tough fibres in meat, making it more tender and flavourful at the same time.
“Braising” is a French cooking term that defines a technique used in many cuisines to make tough cuts of meat very tender and full flavoured. ... The chosen beers enhance the dish by bringing their own flavour profiles to the recipe, creating a wonderful sauce to be served over the final plate
You can use any beer in beer bread so it’s great for experimenting. Each beer will change the flavour of the bread. Brown ale, lagers, and porters are all good.
Simple Beer Bread Recipe - All you need is 375g of flour, 3 teaspoons of sugar, and a 330ml bottle of fragrant beer. No yeast, no warm water, no kneading, no proving. The yeast and the air bubbles are in the beer already – you just mix it, bake it for 45 minutes, then eat it.
Why cook with beer?
Beer adds a rich, earthy flavour to soups and stews that makes them taste like they've been simmering for hours. Beers with a sweet or nutty taste can add depth to desserts. And don't worry about getting drunk – virtually all of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process.
Beer actually has more taste profiles than wine, because there are so many variations in the four ingredients. And that means if you can cook something with wine, you can be pretty sure that it will work with a beer too, whether it’s a creamy risotto or a steak sauce.
Is cooking with beer healthy?
It might be surprising to know but cooking with beer can actually be a healthy way to flavour food. A regular sized bottle beer has about 150 calories and is free of fat and cholesterol. Beer also has a variety of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.
Does it matter what beer you cook with?
There are some always-safe options when choosing your beer. Relatively lighter ales (pale ale, amber, or light brown ale) will complement nearly all beer-recipes and so are a great default choice. That said, it's also safe to stay away from IPAs (India Pale Ales) in your cooking
Cooking with beer is all about experimenting so why not order yourself a variety of craft beers from our different selections and get to work and cook up a culinary beer storm in the kitchen