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Savory Suds or Why You Should be Cooking with Beer

For some of us it is hard to imagine having too many cold ones in the fridge, but maybe your party last week wasn’t as well attended as you planned. If you find yourself with a surplus of brewskies, the culinary possibilities are endless.
Yes, wine has gotten the most attention when it comes to cooking possibilities and health benefits. As it turns out, however, a good pint can give wine a run for its money in both categories. It has the same type of enzymes that break down fibers and help to tenderize meat. And as far as health benefits…well, watch out wine, you’ve got some real competition!

Beer

Health Benefits of Beer

  • Anti-cancer properties
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced risk of diabetes 2
  • Anaemia prevention
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Anti-aging properties

Of course, as with most things, moderation is the key and these health benefits only apply to light to moderate consumption.

 

So, What Can You Cook with Beer

So, we are all familiar with beer-cheese soup and battered fish and onion rings, but do a google search and you’ll find recipes for the following:

  • Marinades
  • Stews
  • Cakes
  • Barbeque
  • Appetizers
  • Breads

Cooking with Beer

You can use a brew for any meal or snack of the day. What kind you use is really up to you, but generally speaking, wheat or lighter brews go better with chicken and fish dishes while darker brews complement beef, pork, and lamb. If you are cooking your dish, there is no need to worry about the alcohol content. The alcohol, of course, evaporates, unless you are adding it to a dip, and then you may want to make sure it is consumed by adults only.
Pretzel Dip

  • 1/3 cup beer
  • 2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese
  • One envelope Ranch dressing
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

 

Blend all until smooth and enjoy with pretzels or crackers.

I chose to share this recipe because you can have fun adapting it and choosing your brew accordingly. Having a Mexican fiesta? Use taco seasoning instead of Ranch, taco seasoning cheese and one of the Mexican lagers. Or, try using Swiss cheese and an apple ale. You get the idea.

Corn beef Marinade

  • 2 Quarts liquid- water/stout
  • 2 T sugar
  • ½ cup slat
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • One clove of garlic
  • One T pickled spices

 

Combine all and marinade brisket for 24-48 hours. The truth is, you can substitute your favourite brew for any marinade recipe that calls for water or wine. The proportion to water is up to you, but you may want to dilute a stout a bit more than an ale.

Don’t stop with cooking. There is a plethora of information on pairing your favourite foods with the right brew. Of course, drink responsibly to enjoy to the fullest!