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Beer As An Ingredient
If you have not tried cooking with beer, you are missing out on some fabulous dishes. Beer adds deep earthy notes to your dish’s profile, as if it has simmered overnight. When it is used in desserts, they will develop an extra sweet or nutty taste. Teetotalers do not have to worry about the alcohol, because nearly all of it evaporates while the beer cooks.
Many of your favorite recipes that call for wine can be substituted with beer. You will get a more complex, malty taste in the dish. Be sure to use a good quality beer when you cook. If it does not taste good in a glass, it will be just as bad as an ingredient in a recipe.
Variety Of Beer Flavors
Just as with wine, different beers go well with certain menus. Sampling different types of beer will help you learn about each variety’s flavor nuances. It will be easier to pair them with meals or choose one that would be best for cooking a certain dish.
The family tree of beer is divided into two main branches: ales and lagers. Ale was the first beer that was ever made. It is enjoyed by people who prefer an aged, fruity beer. Lagers are less sweet and lighter on the tongue. There are subgroups in both categories that are perfect pairing for certain foods or for an ingredient in a recipe.
Cooking with Beer
These ales are made of fermented wheat, which produce a pale drink that is sweet and mellow. Like a white wine, it goes well with recipes for fish or chicken. If you are making a red meat dish, then choose a spicier brand of wheat beer.
Here are a couple recipes that use wheat beer: Fish Tacos-California Style , Can-Can Chicken
Pale & Bitter Ales
These ales are the favorite of people in Britain. Iconic pub dishes, like fish and chips, go well with pale ale. It is stronger than bitter and has a strong carbonation. Conversely, bitter has almost no carbonation. It is perfect for the rich cuts of wild game.
India Pale Ales
IPA is a more bitter and stronger type of pale. It is aged for several months. Some people might enjoy it as a drink, but the taste is too strong for cooking. These recipes would be great for using pale or bitter ale: Warm Cheddar And Beer Dip , Classic Fish Beer Batter
Porter is actually a blend of different beers. In the 18th century, brew masters created custom blends of porter for their customers. It has been enjoyed by people in Europe as well as the United States. Breweries were noted for their own take on a porter recipe, which they guarded well. It is easy for you to find a porter that suits your tastes. These are some popular recipes that you can use porter in: Classic Welsh Rarebit , Porter Chocolate Truffles
When you think of stout, you automatically think of Ireland. Stout traditionally has flavor notes of chocolate and coffee, which makes it a favorite ingredient for luscious desserts. Its toasty nuances add a surprising punch to your favorite stews or shellfish recipes. If you like stout, you might want to try these recipes: Irish Beef Stew , Chocolate Stout Pudding With Beer Whipped Cream
Pilsners and Bocks
Lager comes from the German word that means “storage”. Hundreds of years ago, Bohemian brewers found that their beer kept better and developed crisp flavors when stored in cold caves for a few months. They named it Pilsner after the Bohemian city where it was first made. Pilsner is an ideal match for spicy meats or many Asian dishes. Bock is a stronger lager that yields bold tastes of malt and yeast. With its complex flavor profiles of caramelly and toasty, many cooks use it as an ingredient for dishes that have root vegetables or pork. Try the stronger Doppelbock with spicy dishes or sharp cheeses. Your friends and family will love these lager-inspired recipes: Pork and Lager Chili Verde, Raspberry Lager Cupcakes