By: Stephen Bier | Monday, July 16, 2012 8:29 AM
One of the things I love to do with beer is use it in my cooking. The sweetness of the malt and the alcohol lends it to being an effective ingredient in both sweet and savoury things.
But there are certainly some beers that are better for certain recipes than others.
As a general rule of thumb, I find that darker beers are more useful for most recipes, as they tend to focus on sweet and toasty flavours rather than bitter hops.
My favourite beer to use in cookery of late would be the Mata Black Bru. It’s reasonably priced and full of flavour, with a good balance of sweet and toasty alongside hints of chocolate and coffee.
Fortunately, it also comes in four packs, so there’s usually some left over to drink while you’re cooking.
It’s a remarkably smooth beer that’s accessible for people who usually aren’t fond of darker brews. It actually could work well as a bridging beer to get people into stouts and porters.
My favourite recipes to use it in include my chilli mix for burritos or nachos, which, funnily enough, I also put chocolate and coffee into. It works out a lot better than people usually expect.
It also works well in all manner of soups. I’ve used it in pork and bean soup through to French onion.
Dessert-wise it makes a good beerimisu, but I’m sure I could find some other more inventive uses for it.
When it comes to cooking with beer, my best advice is simply to try it, and experiment until you find things that work. As it says on the cover of Paul Mercurio’s aptly titled Cooking with Beer: If there's liquid in a recipe, it might as well be beer.