It’s National Beer Day! Of all the food/drink holidays, this one should be somewhere in the top 10. I know most of you beer lovers out there like to keep your beer confined to a frosty glass, but did you know beer can be used for so much more? The beloved drink is a must-have ingredient. Using beer in your cooking can add different, delicious, and sometimes even nutty flavors to all of your favorite meals.
Did you also know that many of the meals that call for wine can actually use beer instead? Beer may be a great additive or substitute, but one thing to remember – when it comes to beer, never forget that different beers have different flavors, and not all beers pair well with the same thing. For instance, when it comes to adding a rich flavor to a stew, don’t use a Pale Ale. Instead, you should use a stout because a stout has more flavor. The darker the beer, the richer the flavor. On the other hand, for beer battered meats and fish, you should always use a Pale Ale, because it is lighter and crispier.
Instead of giving you a list of beers to try or a beer/food pairing, here are just a few recipes that include beer that should definitely try out.
Brown Ale Pizza Dough
Pizza and beer together in one dish? Yes please! This dish will make your pizza dough even better than you could even imagine.
1 12-ounce bottle or can brown ale, room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1⁄2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup cornmeal
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- Whisk together the ale, oil and yeast in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Pulse together bread flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal and salt in a food processor fitted with a dough blade.
- With the motor running, add the ale mixture to the food processor.
- Pulse until the dough comes together, then process for 30 seconds. (You can also use a stand mixer or make the dough by hand. If using a stand mixer, mix the dough for 4-5 minutes with a dough hook; by hand, knead the dough about 10 minutes.)
- The dough should be smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
- Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Recipe via: Draft Mag
Beer Can Chicken
This is a favorite of mine from growing up. Cooking your meat with beer helps keep it tender and juicy, just like everyone likes it!
2 cups mesquite or apple wood chips, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
1 (3 to 4-pound) roasting chicken, preferably kosher (since it has been brined)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Bobby Flay’s 16 Spice Rub for Chicken, or your favorite dry spice rub recipe, divided
1 (12-ounce) can beer
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Prepare a kettle grill with charcoal off to one side for indirect grilling and add the soaked apple wood or mesquite wood chips over the coals. Remove the neck and giblets and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Brush chicken all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons dry rub. Set aside.
- Open the beer can, pour out about 1/2 cup of the beer into a cup and drink it (or pour it over the wood chips). Make an extra hole in the top of the can with a church-key can opener. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon dry rub to the beer can (it might fizz up a little bit at the top, but don’t worry, that is normal), the garlic and rosemary.
- Hold the chicken above the can of beer and slide the chicken over the can. Fold the wings back behind the chicken. Make sure the legs are in front of the can, supporting the chicken. Place the chicken inside a disposable pan.
- Place the pan on the grates of the grill on the opposite side of the charcoals, put lid on and cook the chicken until golden brown and the internal temperature registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast area and 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh area on an instant-read thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the grill (be careful not to spill the contents of the beer can as it will be very hot) and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Use a pair of locking tongs and grab the bottom of the beer can to remove from the chicken cavity. Place on a platter or cutting board to rest and cool. Carve and serve.
Recipe via: Food Network
Beer Cured Bacon
Bacon and beer? My mouth is watering already. Imagine how tasty and delicious this dish can be by adding beer to the ingredients!
1 lb pork belly slab, skin removed
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pink salt (available at specialty food stores, or if you ask nicely, at the butcher counter)
12 oz Chocolate Maple Porter (or another craft stout or porter)
- Make sure all tools and work areas are thoroughly clean. The cure is going to sitting for 10 days in the fridge, so making sure that you are keeping everything sanitary as you go is important.
- In a bowl combine dry ingredients and toss to mix. Add beer and maple syrup to dry mix, whisk until well blended.
- Place the pork in a shallow non-reactive container or large zip locked bag. Pour the cure over the pork and turn to make sure all sides come in contact.
- Store in refrigerator and flip pork every 2-3 days. After 10 days, the curing will be complete and the pork will be ready for the smoker.
- Choose your wood for the smoker (we use a mix of hickory, apple, and pecan), but using wood local to you is always a good call. (Just don’t use pine – it will be super gross!) Hickory produces a nice, medium smoke that will complement the sweetness of the cure.
- Add wood to the smoker and bring the temperature to 250 degrees F.
- Remove the pork from the cure and let excess drip off. Place in smoker.
- Smoke pork until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. This will take 1.5 to 3 hours depending on size of slab and smoker.
- You now have bacon. Enjoy!
Recipe via: Brooklyn Brew Shop
Enjoy National Beer Day, either with a beer or beer-infused food!