Looking for a way to make your next burger sizzle with robust beer flavor? Cooking meat with beer and other liquor is an art. If you do it wrong, you end up with something less than flavorful. If you do it right, though, the results will make your next dinner party or barbeque a trending topic among friends. Like most cooking skills, using alcohol in the kitchen takes a little education and practice to get right.
Cooking Meat With Beer For A Flavor Boost
What Liquor Works Best?
When it comes to cooking with alcohol, there is one easy rule to remember — if you can drink it on a budget, it’s a good choice. Products labeled as “cooking wine” are not wines for sipping, these are to be used solely for cooking. You don’t need to drop 200 bucks on a bottle of single malt for a burger or steak when a nice, cost-efficient whiskey is just as good for this purpose.
Making a Good Marinade
Liquor complements meat without overpowering it, but it takes a subtle hand. First, pick your favorite marinade and add a splash of beer to it. Don’t put in too much because it will change the texture of the meat.
Use color as a guide when picking the alcohol for your meat dish, too. Darker colored spirits like a stout go well with darker meats such as beef. If you are marinating a steak burger, for instance, stick with a dark lager.
Think gin or tequila when enhancing the flavor of chicken or seafood. Grilled chicken goes well with tequila, for example. Just combine one cup of it with some zesty citrus, like lime, and bold seasonings such as chili powder and Mexican oregano, in a small pan and bring it slowly to a boil. Let the marinade cool and then put it in a bag with your chicken for six hours before grilling.
Alcohol Makes Perfect Sauce
You can put the beer to use after the meat is cooked, too. Take the cooked meat out of the skillet and set it aside. Put the pan on medium heat and pour in a little beer or even wine. Stir the alcohol with the juices and drippings from the meat. Make sure to scrape all the pieces off the bottom of the pan for a little extra bit of flavor. Let it cook down for a couple minutes to thicken the sauce.
Next, pour from one half to a full cup of boiling water into the pan and let it simmer for five more minutes or until the sauce is the right texture. Add salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste and serve alongside the meat.
When Cooking With Liquor Think Beyond the Main Dish
Of course, alcohol is good for more than just the meat. It also works well for poaching fruit for a sweet treat. Try soaking pears in red wine or apricots in white. Brandy butter is a favorite holiday sweets topping, too. Just mix butter and sugar together until fluffy and then add about four tbsps of your favorite brandy. You can even splash a yummy liqueur on your favorite cake recipe for something different.
Looking for more inspiration to start cooking with beer? Check out Gordon Ramsay’s take on beef and ale:
Beer and other spirits aren’t just for cocktails anymore, not when you use it right. The key to mastering cooking meat with beer and other spirits is moderation and a little experimentation. Don’t drown your dish, just use it to add flavor. Cheers!
Will you be cracking open a cold beer in the kitchen to pair with your meat? Let us know in the comments section below?
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