Sure, you can drink a beer with dinner, but why not also incorporate it into your cooking? Hounds seem especially fond of using beer to braise meat, for simmering bratwurst before grilling, or as the liquid in beef stews such as the Belgian carbonnade à la flamande. Beer also works well in chili.

The stuff is downright versatile. It works with poultry: “Marinate chicken in beer, kosher salt, thyme and lemon juice for at least 24 hrs and up to 4 days and char grill it,” suggests MartiniGenie. For fish, Glencora steams mussels in beer with ginger, finishing with a pat of butter. It even improves vegetables, according to blue room, who makes a batter consisting of 3/4 cup beer, 3/4 cup cake flour, and 3/4 teaspoon salt to coat onion rings, mushrooms, and zucchini slices before frying. “I often substitute rice flour for part of the cake flour, it seems to make the finished product crisper,” blue room says.

And then there are those who will put a good brew to more creative uses. “On a whim I tried cooking elbow macaroni in beer instead of water to make mac ‘n’ cheese,” says HillJ. “I also used an aged cheddar cheese that smelled an awful lot like beer (do they age cheese in beer?). I swear I needed a nap after eating it … but it was delicious and really rustic.”

While you’re at it, why not try CHOW’s Pot Roast with Porcini and Beer?

Discuss: Favorite recipes featuring beer as an ingredient?

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