Many recipes call for some type of wine (usually a dry white wine) to be added to the cooking process. The wine (or other alcohol) is added at a specific time in the recipe to be sure the alcohol is cooked out while the flavor of it remains. However, some recipes actually use different varieties of beer instead of wine. Here are some examples of cooking with beer!
Cooking with beer: Beef in Beer
- 2 tablespoons beef drippings or butter, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds/1.5 kg sirloin tip, cut into fat fingers
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups/375 ml beef stock
- 2 cups/500 ml beer
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bouquet garni
- Heat the beef drippings and oil together in a saute pan. Working in batches, brown the beef strips on all sides.
- Remove from the pan. In the same pan, fry the onions until soft, about 15 minutes, then add the garlic for 1 minute. Remove. (Check if there is fat in the pan. If not, add a good tablespoon of butter and let it melt.)
- Add the flour and sugar to the pan and cook for 1 minute to make a roux. Gradually whisk in the stock and bring to a boil. (At this point, turn the oven on to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C.)
- Add the beer and vinegar to the boiling stock, and bring back to a boil, cooking until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In a large casserole dish, layer the onions alternately with the beef strips, seasoning each layer as you go with salt and pepper. Tuck in the bouquet garni and pour the sauce over.
- Cover and bake for 2 1/2 hours. If you can wait a day before eating, cool the dish completely when it’s out of the oven and refrigerate overnight: the flavor will be even better when you reheat it.
Crispy Beer Chicken with a Creamy Beer Mushroom Gravy
Chicken in Beer:
- 4 chicken thigh cutlets, washed and patted dry
- 4 chicken drumsticks, washed and patted dry
- 1 x 330ml bottle lager (I used Corona)
- 4 whole garlic cloves, crushed (crush them lightly with the flat side of a knife and the heel of your hand) DO NOT mince them. (See images above).
- 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder
- Salt to taste (about 1 tablespoon)
Drunken Creamy Mushroom Gravy:
- 2 shallot stems (or green onions), sliced thinly
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- Reserved beer marinade
- 3 tablespoons light/reduced-fat butter (or spread of choice)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup (125ml) extra lager *(See Notes)
- 4 tablespoons reduced-fat cooking cream
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt to season
- Place the chicken into a large dish. Pierce 1-inch slits through the chicken skin into the meat (about 1/2-inch deep. Pour in the beer; add the crushed garlic, stock powder, and salt; turn the chicken skin side down; cover with foil and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight for a deeper flavor. (Rotate the chicken once while marinating to ensure an even flavor when baking).
- When ready to cook; preheat your oven to 210°C | 410°F. Drain the beer marinade (reserving the liquid), and heat a cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan; and when it starts to smoke sear chicken, skin side down for about 4 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp, then flip and sear until golden.
- Transfer pan to the oven and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, broiling for the last 5 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through.
- While the chicken is in the oven, fry the shallots and mushrooms in a separate hot pan with a drizzle of oil. When fragrant; add the reserved marinade and simmer on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a smaller saucepan, melt the butter. Lower heat and whisk the flour through until lump-free. Add the shallot and mushroom mixture along with the liquid, and stir until combined. Add the (extra) 1/2 cup of lager and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- When the gravy is thick, stir the cooking cream through along with the sugar. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
- Serve with creamy mashed potatoes, rice, or steamed vegetables. Pour gravy over the chicken; or to retain crispiness, serve gravy onto the side of your serving plates. Sprinkle with finely chopped thyme or parsley.