With so many types of beer in the world, each with their own distinct flavor and profile, it's no wonder why most guys gravitate towards beer as their drink of choice. That's why, with Father's Day right around the corner, you should celebrate the dads in your life by cooking them up something extra special—using beer. Below are some easy ways to use beer in the kitchen that you may not have yet thought possible.
We've all seen the recipes that call for using soda in cakes, but beer works just as well, and gives the desserts a completely different flavor than when a sugar-based soft drink is used. A fun one to try is chocolate and Guinness cupcakes. The dark sponge cake will have an extra tang from the stout and the cloud of frosting on top is a flavorful added bonus. These baby Guinness cakes are irresistibly tempting and an easy way to put a smile on anyone's face.
If you've ever cooked with lentils before, you know how absorbent they are. And while they absorb liquids easily, they also capture all the flavors of what they absorb. A dish that benefits greatly from this is lamb shanks with lentils. By using beer as your liquid base, it's easy to crank up the tastes and flavor of the side dish, making it the star of the plate. The recipe is best with lamb, but now that you know the secret of the absorbent lentils, you can modify using any meat.
Adding beer to soup is simple, but be careful not to add too much, otherwise the beer will dominate the taste and take away from the recipe. For an amazing onion soup with cheese toast, the key is to cook down the onions for an extra long time. While you're cooking, add a few splashes of beer, which will boil down to a rich, dark nectar, and will change the way Dad thinks about onion soup forever.
This might be the easiest way to start experimenting with beer in the kitchen. By adding Dad's favorite beer brew to any marinade, it's simple to change the way your traditional recipes taste. Marinate steaks in some beer with herbs and seasonings before tossing them on the grill, or glaze some chicken with a light beer marinade before baking it in the oven. For something more advanced, try braised short ribs marinated in a lager combined with sticky treacle, ketchup and mustard, making the beer front and center of the recipe.
Use the Can
Now this may seem unconventional and the preparation might make you crack a smile or two, but there's a very serious purpose to wedging an open beer can up inside a whole chicken. Opening the upright beer can permits the contents of the can to evaporate and keep the meat moist while it's cooking. Most recipes for beer-can-chicken only call for half a can, so now Dad has an excuse to drink some beer while cooking.
A lot of us who like fish and chips know of the concept of adding beer to the batter. By doing so, it works like sparkling water to carbonate the mix, making it more light and crispy. But remember, beer batter shouldn't just be for fish — use it for calamari, onion rings or even tempura.