Holiday Side Dishes Made With Homebrew

Many homebrewers like to find new ways to incorporate their beers into everything. After all this is the best way to gain support of significant others, and maybe even convert an in-law or two into dedicated homebrewers as well. The tail end of Fall means the holiday season is upon us, and beyond pairing beer with holiday meals, we can cook with homebrew as well. Here are some great homebrew inspired side dishes.

Why Cook With Beer?

Why not cook with beer? With the vast array of styles, you can add virtually any flavor profile into your food. It may sound strange at first, but remember that the final product doesn't taste like beer. It just has some extra complexity that the dish didn't have before. What if I don't like beer? That's okay, like I said, the final dish doesn't taste like beer (Although I have had some Sam Adams Boston Lager ice cream that did, and yes it was delicious).

Well I can't serve this because the kids will get drunk!

Also not true. Alcohol cooks off at a much lower temperature than water, about 40 degrees cooler. What stays behind is beer's rich malty flavor. So anything baked, fried, or cooked in any manner will not have much if any alcohol left over if any. You're also diluting any remaining alcohol into an entire side dish that will split into 8-12 helpings. Now let's dig into some tasty foods you can make with your homebrew.

Beer Battered Asparagus

side dishes with homebrew - beer battered asparagus

This is a great way to serve asparagus this holiday season. It's crispy, flavorful, and will have your guests coming back for more. Here's what you'll need

• 2 lbs of asparagus
• 1 1/3 Cups of Flour
• 1 bottle of beer (pale ale works great)
• Garlic Salt
• Black pepper
• Vegetable oil for frying

Make the batter by mixing the flour and beer together. Dip the asparagus in the batter, remove the excess batter, and fry until batter is crispy and golden brown. Try to keep them from sticking together while frying. Once finished transfer them to paper towels to dry up excess oil (which would make them soggy). You can keep them warm in a 200F oven until ready to serve. Top with garlic salt and pepper when serving.

Maple Porter Brussels Sprouts

maple porter brussel sprouts side dishes

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Next on our list of delicious side dishes made with homebrew is Brussels sprouts. Roasted ones are exceptional. Pan roasted with beer and maple syrup? Get out of town. Here's how to create this tasty vegetable dish.

• Olive Oil
• 2 Pounds of Brussels Sprouts - halved
• 1/4 cup Chopped Onions
• 1 cup of Porter
• 1/4 cup of Maple Syrup
• Salt and Pepper as needed

Once you have your ingredients ready and sprouts halved, coat a frying pan with oil and cook as many sprouts as will fit, flat-side-down on medium-high for 5 minutes. Once finished, remove the sprouts, add more oil as needed and continue to cook the sprouts until all of them have been roasted in this manner.

Next, in a sauce-pan, cook the onions for a few minutes. Then add the beer and maple syrup. Heat until it begins simmering and continue simmering until it thickens up. Once ready, add everything to the pan (sprouts and sauce) and cook until the sprouts are tender. Coat with salt and pepper.

Bacon Blonde Ale Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes side dishes with blonde ale

You'll be hard pressed to find yourself at a holiday meal that doesn't have mashed potatoes along side the main course. It you're ready to take your mashed potatoes to the next level, consider adding bacon and homebrewed blonde ale to the mix. Here's what you'll need.

• 6-8 Large potatoes (plan on 1.2 potatoes per person, so everyone has enough)
• 4 tablespoons of sour cream
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 1 bottle of blonde ale
• 8 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Chop the potatoes into chunks. Leave the skin on or peel based on your personal preference. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Boil until the potatoes are tender.

Add the potatoes to a mixer, add in the sour cream, butter, and bacon. Slowly add the beer until the potatoes have the texture you prefer. Make sure you add it in slow increments to not create soupy potatoes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Amber Ale Gravy

Side dishes with home brew - amber ale gravy

The last stop on this gravy train of delicious homebrew inspired side dishes is gravy made from pan drippings and amber ale. If you're anything like me, and put gravy on everything, you may want to consider making a double batch.

• 4 tablespoons of pan drippings
• 4 tablespoons of flour
• 1 cup of amber ale
• 1/2 cup of Chicken broth

Collect the pan drippings, amber ale, and chicken broth in a pan. Add flour to thicken to your personal preference. Start with the 4 tablespoons, but add in extra as needed. Make sure to whisk well to avoid flour clumps.

When it comes to cooking side dishes with a homebrew twist, the only real limits are your imagination, and what you have available. There's still time to brew up a new batch to use the next time you're hosting a big holiday dinner. And it's never too early to plan a delicious Valentine's Day dinner. "Honey, I have to brew, it's special for your Valentine's Dinner."

Cheers and happy holidays everyone.

by David Doucette
David is a full blown fermentation enthusiast who has dedicated much of his free time to learning and sharing the art of homebrewing. He's spent several years documenting and writing homebrewing information on his blog Hive Mind Mead. He's written over 60 articles between Homebrew Talk and Homebrew Supply.

Sources

Lead image
fried asparagus
gravy
Mashed potatoes & bacon
Roasted Sprouts

written by David Doucette

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