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Cooking with Beer

The art of cooking with beer is challenging, however the essential principles are with a culinary craft boils down to a balance of sweetness and dryness of hops. ( a factor of malt and the residue of sugars). Beer can contribute richness-even sweetness and body-to sauces. Beware of the hops. They will change in nature in the cooking process, particularly when reducing sauces, and take on a bitter character that will dominate. One has to be sparing when cooking with American pale ales and particularly IPAs. When hoppy beers are reduced they become much more bitter. Doppelbocks, English brown ales, Belgian ales, and Scottish ales are all good culinary additions due to their lower hop bitterness and richer malt accents, when brewed in the classic styles.

Beer and chocolate. From time to time wine and food writers love to speculate about what, if anything, to serve with dark chocolate. The answer is…beer, of course. There are a number of possibilities but here we have to get brand specific. A first choice would be a barley wine or strong bottle-conditioned ale with some aged, mature character. The classic example from England is Thomas Hardy’s from Eldridge Pope. Other possibilities are McEwan’s Export Scotch Ale, Young’s Old Nick Barley Wine, or even Samuel Smith’s Imperial Russian Stout. The basic principle is to match the bittersweet flavors of dark chocolate with sweet but dark-roasted malt flavors of specific beers. If you want to know more about Beer, you can read more about it here.

When I have baked using beer, what I have found is the darker the beer seems to work better, it retains it’s flavor through the baking process.

Poor Richard Molasses Marinade
by Tony Simmons
prep time : Less than 30 minutes
recipe type: BBQ, mops and marinades
ingredients: 1 cup American colonial ale, such as Pagosa Brewing Co. Poor Richard’™s Ale
2 tablespoons Dry English Mustard
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup malt vinegar
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
1/4 teaspoon powdered red pepper or cayenne
1 bay leaf
Blend mustard and Poor Richard’s ale (or your favorite amber ale) while warming in a small saucepan. Gradually stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil (beware of boil over) and simmer for 2 minutes. Cool before using. For most flavorful results, marinate on wild game overnight in the refrigerator. For ham or pork, up to six hours in the refrigerator.

This recipe is from Beer Cook – check out their other recipes and Lucy’s Book.


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