13 Ways to Cook With Beer

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1. For tastier corned beef and cabbage, add half a bottle of brown beer to the pot in which the food is simmering.

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2. For a more complex tasting dinner bread, replace the water in a basic egg-bread recipe with beer (but not light beer—you'll need the full-calorie version!). Use these proportions as a starting point: 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 beaten eggs.

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3. To make a quick marinade for pork tenderloin, mix together dark beer, molasses, herbs, onion, garlic, and freshly ground black pepper.

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4. For Belgian-style steamed mussels, simmer the mussels in a covered pot with beer (lager or ale is best but avoid dark beers), clam broth, chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions, and fresh basil or parsley.

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5. To make a marinade for steak fajitas, combine 6 ounces of beer, 1 drained can of seeded, deveined, and sliced jalapeño peppers (wear gloves when handling), and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Drop in a thinly sliced flank steak (1 1/2 pounds) and marinate for 4 to 8 hours. Grill or pan-fry the steak slices and serve with grilled or pan-fried sliced onions and peppers.

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6. For a delicious corn side dish, simmer corn kernels in beer for 2 minutes, then drain and stir in butter and seasonings.

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7. For Southwestern chicken fajitas, mix together 6 ounces beer and 1 can (15 ounces) red enchilada sauce. Add 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours. Grill or broil the chicken along with chunks of onions and seeded bell peppers. Slice the chicken and veggies and serve in warm tortillas with salsa and sour cream.

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8. To deepen the flavor of stews and chilis, stir in 6 ounces beer along with the broth in your favorite recipes.

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9. To doctor up store-bought barbecue sauce, stir in 1/4 cup dark beer per cup of sauce.

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10. For a fun twist on boiled shrimp, use beer as the simmering liquid. Combine 6 ounces beer, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 4 minced garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning in a deep, 12-inch-wide skillet. Add 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, then cover and simmer until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, for 5 minutes. Dust the shrimp with paprika before serving.

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11. For drunken pulled pork, simmer the pork in beer. Cut boneless pork butt or shoulder into cubes and put in a Dutch oven with beer, onions, chili powder, cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer until the pork is fork-tender. Shred the pork with 2 forks and stir in the bottled barbecue sauce, simmering until heated through.

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12. To make a spicy marinade for spareribs, combine 6 ounces beer, 1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce, 1 drained can sliced jalapeños, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce.

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13. To give battered and fried fish a shot of flavor, add beer. For instance, mix together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 bottle stout or dark beer.

Tidbit: The first can of beer was sold in Richmond, Virginia, on January 24, 1935. Ever since, the battle of cans versus bottles has raged. In 2005, the state that most preferred canned beer was Arkansas, according to the Beer Institute. The state in which beer drinkers will most likely ask if you have a bottle opener is Nebraska.

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