A summer drink or casual conversation starter, beer is versatile. So much so, beer can take on the role of a handy kitchen ingredient in a jiffy. An ingenious stock substitute, catalyst in baking, and more complex flavours than wine—beer needs more credit than it deserves in the kitchen. The variety of ales, lagers and wheat beer, each with their own distinct flavours will guarantee to add that extra spark in your cooking. Start by sneaking some beer into these dishes to discover the magic of beer. And while you wait for your meal to cook, quench your thirst with a brew.
Craving a stack of crispy onion rings or fried chicken? Sneak some beer into your batter, preferably a lager. Avoid using stouts since it may change the colour and flavour profile of the batter. After you’ve slowly poured in the beer into your dry ingredients, whisk until you’ve attained a lump-free batter of the desired consistency. This versatile batter can be used for just about anything—shrimps, prawns, chicken, onions rings, etc. Allow excess batter to drip off before slipping it throwing into the pan. Fry until golden brown.
Beer Can Chicken
Also known as ‘chicken on a throne’, this method uses a beer can to ensure that the beer seeps into the chicken leaving it moist and giving it a hoppy flavour at the same time. Pour out half of the beer from a can and place the can on a baking tray. Place the chicken on the can in such a way that chicken cavity fits snugly over the can. Grill or roast the chicken as you normally would. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Soups and Stews
Add a heady (get the pun?) mix of hops and richness to your soups and stews by replacing stock or wine with stout or ale. Pour a can or a pint of beer while your soup/stew is simmering. You can add more beer as per your taste. Let simmer for a few more minutes.
Beer bread is a classic recipe where your favourite beer, along with baking powder, acts as a natural yeast to help the dough proof. It’s best to go with a light lager unless you’re aiming for a darker and richer bread. When baking with chocolate, go for darker stouts to make your goodies a hit.
Marinades and Sauces
Though it has less acidity than wine, beer helps tenderise your meat without compromising its juiciness just like a wine marinade. Besides, the beer will also help caramelise the skin. When added to sauces such as barbecue sauce, it will help add an earthy, smoky flavour wowing your guests.
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