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Old 09-20-2017, 07:28 AM   #1
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Beer as an Ingredient question

I have been growing hops in my backyard the past few years. This year will be my first harvest, and I will make an attempt at brewing my first beer. I have made wine in the past, so this is just one more thing I want to experience.

The funny thing is that I don't drink. I use wine for cooking almost every week, but I've never experimented with beer. I ve heard of / seen recipes using beer as an ingredient online, cooking shows, books...

So, my question is, do ay of you have any favorite recipes, suggestions, uses for beer as an ingredient ? I don't needful recipes, and don't worry about the vegetarian thing. Im more curious how you guys and gals use it. It will give me an idea of how I can use it / experiment with it (with my dietary restrictions).

Thanks,
larry

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Old 09-20-2017, 09:13 AM   #2
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Carbonnade was something my grandmother used to make. Basically, it's a Belgian stew made from beef and onions slow cooked in beer. Surprisingly, it doesn't have a strong beer flavor. My grandma was not a teetotaler, but she didn't keep alcohol around the house. So whenever she needed some, she'd call my parents and either my brother and I would have to run something over for her (she lived three houses away).

I don't have her recipe, so this is about as close a recipe as I can find:
Carbonnade Beef and Beer Stew Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Growing up in Wisconsin, the other two beer-based foods we had often were beer brats (sausages are simmered in beer before being finished on the grill), and beer cheese soup. Both are Wisconsin staples.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:22 AM   #3
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Beer and cheese soup in pretzel bread bowls or pretzels/pretzel breadsticks on the side. Beer cheese dip for soft or hard pretzels.

I use beer in collard greens.

We use beer in chicken and pork brines. Not sure if you brine tofu or any of the other meat subs.

We've used it as part of a braising liquid for pork. Guess you could braise hard root veges the same way.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:45 AM   #4
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Among other things, I use beer in deep fried fish batter, Guinness beef stew, crock pot red beans and rice, Cajun peas & Tasso ham, and my special pomegranate balsamic barbecue sauce.

Beer Batter Fish & Chips


Ingredients:

1 pound firm fleshed fish fillets (cod, haddock, orange roughy, snapper, mahi-mahi, etc.)
28oz bag frozen steak fries, thawed
Canola oil, for deep frying
3 cups flour, divided
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 eggs
12 ounces stout beer

Instructions:

Cut the fish fillets into 4oz pieces. Place 1 cup of flour into a shallow pan. Mix the remaining 2 cups of flour with the baking powder, salt, pepper, eggs and beer in a large bowl and whisk it until you get a smooth batter.

Pour 3 inches of canola oil into a deep fat fryer or large pot and heat the oil to 325F. Put the steak fries in the hot oil and fry them for 2 to 3 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove the steak fries and place them on paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain.

Increase the oil temperature to 375F.

Dredge the fish fillets in the pan of flour, and then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Gently lower the fish fillets into the hot oil and fry them for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until the batter is brown and crispy. Do not crowd the pan. Once they are browned, remove the fillets from the oil and allow them to drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag.
Put the steak fries into the 375F oil and fry until golden and crispy. Fish & chips is traditionally served wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper, with lemon wedges and tartar sauce for the fish and malt vinegar for the chips.

Guinness Beef Stew


Ingredients:

3½ to 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped fine
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1¼ cups Guinness Draught
1½ Tbs packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 ½ lb Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste and garlic and cook until rust-colored and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in broth, ¾ cup Guinness, sugar, and thyme, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in beef and return to simmer. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.

Stir in potatoes and carrots and continue cooking until beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir in remaining ½ cup Guinness and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Cajun Peas and Tasso

Ingredients:

2 Tbs unsalted butter
½ cup onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8oz button mushrooms, quartered
8oz Tasso ham, diced*
1¼ cups low-sodium chicken stock
¼ cup dark beer
2 Tbs dry roux (recipe follows)
16oz bag petite*peas, thawed
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ tsp salt, or to taste
3 cups cooked long-grain rice for serving

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, green pepper, and celery, and sauté*until golden and lightly caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the mushrooms and Tasso and cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté*until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.

Combine the chicken stock and beer in a 2 quart measuring cup and stir in the dry roux until completely dissolved. Add the peas and cayenne and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve over cooked long grain rice.

Pomegranate Balsamic Barbecue Sauce


Ingredients:

1 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1½ tsp pomegranate molasses
3 Tbs Agave Nectar
2 Tbs light tasting olive oil
12 ounce bottle of stout beer
6oz tomato paste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Frank's Hot Sauce
1½ tsp whole grain mustard
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup minced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp grated ginger
½ tsp salt

Instructions:

In a medium sauce pan, sauté the onions in the olive oil until softened, but not browned. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the tomato paste and heat through, breaking it up as you stir, to cook out the raw tomato taste.

Once the tomato paste has heated through, add the pomegranate balsamic vinegar and stout beer and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer and add the agave nectar, pomegranate molasses, Frank’s hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and the whole grain mustard.
Add the brown sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved, then stir in the grated ginger and the salt. Allow the sauce to simmer for anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, until the sauce is rich and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon This sauce will keep for 1 week tightly covered in the refrigerator, or for 3 months in the freezer.

To bring your barbecue together, grill whatever meat, poultry or seafood you have chosen, ensuring the proper internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Once cooked, coat one side with the barbecue sauce and grill it, sauce side down, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the barbecue sauce begins to bubble. Slather the top side with barbecue sauce, turn it over, and grill for 3 or 4 minutes longer, again until the sauce begins to bubble. Watch carefully because sugar burns easily.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:35 AM   #5
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Beer is interchangeable with stock or water in my kitchen, in almost every circumstance.
Like today. I'm making chili with beans. I will use one can of beer instead of water or stock.
I cannot remember the last time I made a pot roast without using beer as the braising liquid. Same with beef stew and anything that needs to braise.

Like Andy, I also make a beer batter for fish and shrimp.
The sky is the limit. Beer is much less expensive that buying canned or boxed stock and IMO is better tasting.
I can almost smell that chili cooking right now.

I have zero preference on what type of beer to use. I use what I drink. I don't buy or even like IPA type beer at all.
Sometimes guests will leave beer behind. Dark IPA types. In one case I remember it almost ruined the dish. Way to bitter. Way to dark and way to expensive.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:39 AM   #6
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I’m not much of a beer drinker. I do cook with beer sometimes. I am most pleased that in our state you can buy single bottles in some liquor stores.

Brats simmered in beer, probably my most common use for beer in a recipe. Probably not helpful. Use beer in favorite marinades.

Beans/ frijoles borracho or beer baked white beans

Beer cheese (added jalapenos) quick bread

Welsh rarebit, not just on toast anymore, makes a good dipping sauce or slather on broc or cauliflower

Beer (cheddar) cheese spread

Beer mustard sauce

chili or stew -- sub beer for some of the other liquid

beer biscuits, when you’re out on the trail and don’t have any fresh milk for the batter

beer battered onion rings, I don’t deep fry, but I have a recipe
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Growing up in Wisconsin, the other two beer-based foods we had often were beer brats (sausages are simmered in beer before being finished on the grill), and beer cheese soup. Both are Wisconsin staples.
We made the beer brats the opposite way, browning them first, then finishing them in simmering beer.

There are some companies making a Guinness cheddar cheese.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:14 PM   #8
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I use beer a lot as a replacement for water in marinades and injections.

I also like to use a chocolate stout or porter as a sauce when cooking meat. Petite sirloin cooked in a pan in a deep broth of chocolate stout, worchester, etc. Yumm.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:25 PM   #9
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I also use beer in my braising liquids. I like it better than wine for that job.

However, I don't like very "hoppy" beers, and don't cook with them either. So, if you make a hoppy beer, I don't know what it will be like to cook with. I just haven't done it.

I like a robust, "bready" beer. They are great for stews -- probably even a veggie stew.

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Old 09-20-2017, 07:29 PM   #10
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I also use beer in my braising liquids. I like it better than wine for that job.

However, I don't like very "hoppy" beers, and don't cook with them either. So, if you make a hoppy beer, I don't know what it will be like to cook with. I just haven't done it.

I like a robust, "bready" beer. They are great for stews -- probably even a veggie stew.

CD
Caseydog, your dog looks pretty angry.

I have a question about beer tastes. Is the hoppy flavor the aromatic flowery smell/taste, or the bitter flavor, or both. Can anyone describe the hoppy flavor to me, thanks.

And another beer taste question. I like guinness, it is filling, a little bitter, thicker than normal beer. What is the main taste?
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:42 PM   #11
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As a former beer brewer myself I have some advice. Pay strict attention to the cleanliness, especially when you bottle it. Wine has higher alcohol content and is more forgiving.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stock Pot View Post
As a former beer brewer myself I have some advice. Pay strict attention to the cleanliness, especially when you bottle it. Wine has higher alcohol content and is more forgiving.
Thanks, any brewing/ bottling tips welcome.

I seemed to do ok with the wine, but that was years ago so its as if Im starting all over again. Doing it more for fun than anything else. Also gives me something to do over the winter ( along with my aquaponics and mushroom growing).
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by blissful View Post
Caseydog, your dog looks pretty angry.

I have a question about beer tastes. Is the hoppy flavor the aromatic flowery smell/taste, or the bitter flavor, or both. Can anyone describe the hoppy flavor to me, thanks.

And another beer taste question. I like guinness, it is filling, a little bitter, thicker than normal beer. What is the main taste?
That's psycho-poodle. Not angry, just a little mad.

Heineken is a good example of a "hoppy" beer. It has that bitterness, particularly in the aftertaste, that comes from hops.

I didn't often drink Guinness, so my memory of the taste is kind of vague, but I seem to remember it as being more grain than hops.

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Old 09-20-2017, 10:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
...I have a question about beer tastes. Is the hoppy flavor the aromatic flowery smell/taste, or the bitter flavor, or both. Can anyone describe the hoppy flavor to me, thanks.

And another beer taste question. I like guinness, it is filling, a little bitter, thicker than normal beer. What is the main taste?
Guiness? You're a girl after my own heart, bliss. Himself says it's the one beer you can chew. I think it's the malt that gives it that flavor. I agree that some hoppy beer is bitter. Flavor and bitterness depend on what variety of hops the brewer chooses for that particular beer. I often detect a citrus flavor with some of the beer I sample, though. Rather than being bitter, I find it just a little bit puckery.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:03 PM   #15
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I've made the Guinness beef stew and it comes out very rich. Tastes delicious. Next on my list is the beef bean beer chili and the beer battered fish and don't forget the beer battered onion rings.

You're supposed to also be able to add it to bread dough and have it make the dough rise like a yeast, but the one time I tried that, via a recipe in Mother Earth, my bread didn't rise worth a darn. But that could have been me and not the recipe, too.

One of the things you might want to do is make sure you like the beer you get. Most recipes only call for a cup or so and there's a lot left in the bottle to drink. I have 5 bottles left of the Guinness I bought and I'm wondering how long it lasts bottled. I tried drinking the remainder after using it in the beef stew and just spit it out into the sink. To me it's very bitter, but I don't like beer anyway. I end up pouring the rest down the drain.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:43 PM   #16
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rr, I cap the beer bottle with a hinged wine bottle stopper and have kept it in the refrigerator forever - or at least until I need some beer again. Unless I need the bubbles for lift, like making beer bread, I just keep using the beer until the bottle is empty. Well, unless I just drink it right after I open it!

I've used the bread recipe from New York Times, but I don't think I can post a working link to them since they've put up a paywall. Instead, here is a close version of the recipe I use, with my changes below the link:

Beer Bread Recipe

Instead of 1/4 cup sugar, I use 1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons)
Instead of 1/2 cup melted butter, I use 2 Tablespoons

This bread is best just after baking. Leftover, it's not bad toasted.

Remember that the flavor of the beer will be apparent in your finished loaf of bread. For almost no discernible flavor, use some sort of "water in a can" like Busch lite. Guinness, on the other hand, makes a rather interesting bread. Be sure you've made a pot of hearty stew.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:46 PM   #17
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If you make cooked sturdy greens (such as collard or mustard...or kale ), simmer them with beer instead of water or veggie broth. Some cannellini beans, a loaf of hearty bread, and you have dinner.

IMO, it would be better with bacon or ham. Adjust those ingredients to meet (meat? ) your needs.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:54 PM   #18
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If you make cooked sturdy greens (such as collard or mustard...or kale ), simmer them with beer instead of water or veggie broth. Some cannellini beans, a loaf of hearty bread, and you have dinner.

IMO, it would be better with bacon or ham. Adjust those ingredients to meet (meat? ) your needs.
Um... what isn't better with bacon?

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Old 09-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #19
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I tend to use Mackeson when I can get it. It's like Guinness but a little sweeter. If I can't get it I use Guinness and add a half to a full teaspoonful of sugar. It doesn't make the stew sweet but just takes a little of the edge off the bitterness.

I use Mackeson in my Christmas puddings, too
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