This is a guest post.
Is there a sentence filled with more potential in the English language than ‘cooking with beer’? Brits are well-known across the globe for their finely brewed beer and their sumptuous cuisine – roast dinner anyone? – so it’s no wonder the two have been brought together to create a huge range of delicious dishes to get those taste buds ticking. While experimenting in the kitchen is the best way to stumble upon an amazing new recipe, here are a few things to bear in mind when swapping a pint glass for a pan.
When stocking up on beer during the supermarket shop, check labels to make sure you are buying the right type of beer for the dish. Colour is a good indicator of what to expect: lighter beers tend to have a lighter flavour while darker beers are often richer and sometimes sweeter. Beer labels are generally more informative than wine labels, so it’s easy to ensure you’re making the right choice.
As a general rule beer is not designed to be kept for long periods of time, especially canned varieties as these can go stale and flat. Check the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date and think about how you are storing your beer – bottled beers with corks should be stored horizontally to keep the cork moist while beers with crown caps should be stored upright.
Beer is an incredibly versatile cooking ingredient and can be used in a variety of mouth- watering concoctions. The Flemish dish Carbonnade, beef cooked in ale, is a classic choice although this is just one of many. Golden beer-battered fish is beautiful with a portion of crispy fries, which you can either make from scratch yourself or buy from a trusted brand like McCain. Beer is awesome in chilli. Steamed sea bass in hot beer and ginger lime sauce goes down a treat and you can also incorporate beer into a rarebit to accompany a juicy fillet steak.
In order to remove unwanted debris, beer is usually filtered and sometimes fined using animal products such as gelatine. This makes some beers unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans, so if you’re cooking for a veggie guest checking the label is crucial.
Did you know that beer has more taste profiles than wine? Since there are so many variations in the key four ingredients, this means if you can cook something with wine, you can certainly do so with beer. There is a wealth of dishes just waiting to be created with beer, so don’t be afraid to experiment – either with different foods or beers.
So what are you waiting for? Crack open a beer, take a big old swig, pour the rest into the pan and let it work its magic!