.. Why Cook with Beer ?
“Wine gentrifies, Beer unifies” - W. Scott Griffiths
The fact is that few people in America do cook with beer and not many recipes are found in cookbooks. Until recently beer dishes in American restaurants tended to be marginal items such as ‘fried fish in beer batter’.
The overall thought was that beer does little to enhance food … Wrong !!
Beer can do as much for food as wine, adding it’s own characteristics to a given dish while at the same time bringing out the best in other ingredients. Throughout Europe, great chefs and housewives employ beer as a primary ingredient in a wide variety of dishes and as a flavoring agent in many others. The Germans cook extensively with beer and use it to flavor many specialty meats and wursts. Most American beer, until about 20-25 years ago, was so bland with no character that it had become nothing more than a ‘thirst quencher’.
The amount of beer in a typical recipe is no more that 2 tablespoons to a serving but the type of beer used can have a considerable effect on the resulting dish. If a hoppy ale is used, the bitterness of the hops will heighten the sharpness of any cheese ingredient to produce an almost pungent flavor and if a sweet stout is chosen it will result in a richer and mellower effect .. in either case, the character of the food is altered according to the beer that has been selected.
Except for a few specialties, all great beers are made from 4 basic ingredients – Barley Malt, Water, Yeast and Hops as evidenced by the German Purity Laws of 1516.
The Barley Malt is the basic Fermentable Material (similar to the grape in wine) and provides the primary flavor. It is mashed in water and this mixture, after being clarified, is the Wort.
Hops are added to the Wort then boiled, clarified again, yeast added then Fermentation begins. A Master Brewer can take these 4 basic ingredients and change them in many ways !
Go to the internet and do a Yahoo or Google Search .. then key in Cookbooks with Beer .. Beer Cookbooks .. Cooking with Beer etc.
You will be amazed what listings come up ……
Here are a few --
Carol & George Wilson