This is the first of (hopefully) many posts by Dan’s daughter. He likes to think that I’m a chip off the old block in terms of my gourmet skills, but it could be that I’ve just been lied to for a while– I really just throw a bunch of random stuff into a pan. One of my favorite ingestibles, however, is beer. I love to drink it, cook with it, and make it. People think of the traditional beer-can chicken, where you crack a Bud and stick it inside a roaster and hope for the best. The cooking possibilities of beer, in reality, are endless. My favorite, for example, is to let a nice New York strip marinate in a good, thick, dark beer (think Sam Adams Cream Stout, or a Stone porter) for a few hours before cooking it. You’d be amazed at how much of a rich, earthy flavor remains that compliments the beef and gives it almost a sweet taste and a delicate texture (the alcohol helps to tenderize the meat while marinating). Serve with bleu cheese mashed potatoes and stir-fried mushrooms and onions. Try stir-frying chicken in a pale ale for a nutty flavor, or baking it in a brown ale with sage and rosemary. It’s really instinct that’s very similar to the “rules” for wine– dark beer for dark meat, light beer for light meat. However, if it’s a beer you like to drink with a certain dish, then chances are that meat would taste quite good cooked in that beer. A few words of caution– unless you’re marinating with beer, be careful of burning. Beer can thicken and then burn really easily in skillets, etc.
So, crack a beer, throw some on some steak, and enjoy the rest– consider it developing your multi-tasking skills.