Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cooking with Beer

Ahhh...I know you were all waiting for a new beer post...

My new saying during the 9 months is "if you can't drink it, might as well cook with it."  Before I get to my recipes, I need to share some thoughts on the great beers we have on tap at the house. 

As you know we have three taps, but I bought Mike a temperature regulator and new freezer to keep some beers.  This came in handy in early December when Mike went to pick up our Christmas beer from our beer guy and he said "so Mike, I figured this was Heather's year with the beer and I got her favorite beer Scaldis Noel."  Mike didn't know what to do and didn't want to tell him we were expecting but had to get the ridiculously expensive beer from him since he didn't want to stick him...he came home and I said, "well, no offense, but we will have to hold that till next year, because I am not letting other people drink that when I can't."  For those of you that don't know it's a very expensive Belgium Christmas beer that is not easy to get in a it is currently sitting very patiently till I deliver a baby.

So sitting currently on tap and in our fridge (besides Scaldis):

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe (American Double/Imperial IPA) - this is a hoppy IPA and very smooth.  I love the color of this beer - a dark amber.  It's smells of pine and citrus, so clean and crisp.

Neshaminy Creek Leon Russian Imperial S'mores Stout - I haven't actually drank this one since we got this post-prego so I am going to give you Mike's input.  First off, the beer poured like syrup for the first 5 pours then changed to more of a thick stout consistency with a nice head.  He told me it tastes exactly as written in it's description "Leon is a big beer. So big, it has twice as much malt as any other beer we brew, and also requires us to do a double mash just to reach such a high wort gravity. Each 15 barrel brew has 45 pounds of freshly handmade marshmallow fluff made by our in house chef and Production Manager, Steve Capelli, as well as 16 and half pounds of bittersweet bakers chocolate, and 30 pounds of crumbled graham crackers." 

Dogfishhead Sah'Tea - Sah'tea is flavored with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black pepper. The beer is a wheat beer and although Mike and I aren't huge wheat beer fans the spices in these make it very drinkable.

Allagash Fluxus - Strong Ale brewed with spelt and green and pink peppercorns.  You can taste the peppercorns on the back end.

Okay, now to get to the meat (literally) of the post - I got lots of comments and questions regarding recipes on these two dishes I recently made and posted on Instagram and Facebook so here they are:

Sah'Tea Turkey Sausage with Caramelized Onions (print recipe)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 lb turkey sausage (4-6 links)
16 ounces of sah'tea or other spiced beer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Heat oil on medium and add onions cooking for 5-7 minutes or when browned.  Add 4 cloves of garlic minced for 2 more minutes.  Add turkey sausages browning on all sides.  Add beer and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes until turkey sausages are opaque.  In the meantime heat the grill. 

Take out turkey sausages and grill on all sides adding some grill marks.  While grilling bring sauce back to boil and add brown sugar and worchestershire sauce.  Simmer until reduced by 50-60%. 

Add turkey sausages back to sauce for another 2-4 minutes on simmer.  Serve over mashed potatoes and corn.

Chocolate Stout Vegan Chili (print recipe)

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 yellow and green zucchini chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 16 oz Green Flash Brewing Stout
2 Tbsp Giradelli Unsweetened Chocolate
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 16 oz can black beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1 32 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 32 oz whole tomatoes
Spices - cumin, chili powder, cayenne, African smoked spice from Trader Joe's

Place black beans, pinto beans, tomatoes and seasoning in crockpot and heat on high.

Heat oil on medium and add onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini cooking for 10 minutes until softened.  Add beer and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes, add chocolate and brown sugar. 

Add vegetable mix to crockpot and let cook for 4-6 hours. 
Some additional recommendations:  Add ground beef or buffalo or potentially sweet potato or butternut squash. 
Also the longer it cooks the more the bitterness cooks out from the stout.  It ends up amazing. 


  1. After reading this, I realize I don't cook with beer enough. That's all. :)

  2. That is an impressive selection of beers on tap! Very complex. It's tough at first to get out of the "what great beer are we going to drink tonight, honey" routine. My son is five months old. I had my first full beer again about two months ago, but I have to say that I've gotten used to just tasting whatever my husband pours for himself. Hard to believe because we used to knock 'em back.


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