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cooking with beer

Beer Cheese Chicken Pot Pie

This is the ultimate comfort food, combining three great comfort food players: Beer, Cheese, Warm Soup. Add to that a flaky pastry crust and you pretty much have pot pie perfection. I use Mission Street Blonde Ale for this, from the Mission Brewery out of San Diego.

A really beautiful blend with the mild cheddar I used. It cooks really well, leaving a mild lemony flavor with traces of wheat. The hops are subtle and blend well with the rest of the recipe.

Beer cheese has started to climb out of frat boy myths into actual culinary acceptance of the past decade. This recipe isn’t a traditional Beer Cheese recipe, but the idea is captured and transformed into a hearty soup and a filling entrée. A great recipe to have in your beer cooking arsenal.

Beer Cheese Chicken Pot Pie 

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 5 tbs butter cold, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tbs vodka
  • 2 tbs cold water

For the Filling:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced leeks (white and very light green portion only)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cups raw chicken, cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  •  1 1/3 cup Mission Street Blonde Ale
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup peas
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup melted butter

1. Combine 1 cups of flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor, pulse a few times until its combined. Add the butter and the shortening and process until it forms a ball around the blade, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the remaining flour and process until well incorporated, about 1 minute.

3. Move to a bowl and add the water and the vodka, combine with a spatula or wooden spoon.

4. Form the dough into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill until very firm, about two hours.

5.  Preheat oven to 400.

6. In a pan over medium, high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the leeks and the garlic, sauté until leeks are soft.

7. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

8. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and darkened.

9. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

10. In a separate bowl, add 2/3 cup of broth and the flour, stir until combined. Pour mixture into the pan through a small mesh strainer to remove any lumps.

11. Add the beer to the pan and stir to combine. Add the peas, corn, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted and is well combined with the broth.

12. Pour into small, portion sized, oven safe ceramic dishes. Makes about 4.

 

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13. Once the dough has chilled, place disk on a very well floured surface, add flour to the top of the disk as well. Roll out into an even thickness.

14. Cut out circles that will cover the dishes with at least a one inch overhang on each side.

15. To prevent sticking, spray the rim of the baking dish with cooking spray.

16. Top each dish with the dough circle, cutting a slit to vent at the top. Then brush the dough with melted butter.

17. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool a bit before serving.



Beer Braised Pulled Pork

There is nothing new about braising with beer. In fact,  it should be the standard. Beer, as with all alcohol, is a natural meat tenderizer but it’s the flavors of the beer that make for braise meat that has a truly special taste. Craft brews are known for more intense flavor profiles and will always produce a vastly superior product when cooking than a macro brew. Craft beer is truly that, a craft. I have had a soft spot for Rogue brewery for years. Rogue is beer lovers beer, and dedicated to the art of the craft. Actual real life people making really good beer. If you live on the West Coast, this Portland Oregon brewery’s beer is probably at your local grocery store. It’s one of the few great craft beers that I have a very easy time getting my hands on.

What does braising mean? What a good question. Braising just means to sear meat at a very high heat and then cook it slowly at a low heat until cooked through. I used another amazing craft beer for this recipe. Rogue’s Chipolte Ale:

 

Beer Braised Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 3.5 lb Pork butt (It’s acctually the pigs shoulder, and sometimes called that. The actual butt is called Ham.)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups Chipotle ale, or smoked porter (I used Rogue’s Chipotle Ale)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl stir together the salt, brown sugar onion powder, chili powder, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika and mustard powder together until combined, set aside.
  2. Take out your pork and stab 6, 2 inch deep holes fairly evenly spaced through the meat. Push a clove of garlic into each hole until no longer visible.
  3. Rub the entire surface of the meat with the spice mixture, using it all.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until very hot. Sear all surfaces of the meat, even the sides, until browned. The entire process will probably take about 10-15 minutes.Pour the beer over the meat, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning the meat over about every 30 minutes, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
  5. Once the meat is finished, remove from the pot and allow to cool. Use two forks to shred into pieces. Return to the braising liquid and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and discard the liquid.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-braised-pulled-pork/

 

 

I used this meat in three ways, on italian bread as a delicious sandwich, over rice and beans, and in a burrito. Other ideas for pulled pork include:

Pulled pork nachos

Pulled pork sliders

Pulled pork tacos

Pulled pork enchiladas

Pulled pork flatbread pizza

Pulled pork hand pies

Seriously, you could go all Bubba Gump about this and it would be endless. There is no shortage of uses for Pulled Pork.

 


Cheddar Beer Biscuits

When you go about baking biscuits, beer is a great addition. Not only because beer is fantastic will every possible edible substance, but because the the carbonation is an amazing leavening agent that lends itself well to culinary beer usage.

For this recipe I used a Orange Wheat beer from Hangar 24, a Southern California based brewery. The beer was beautiful and the flavors where perfect for these biscuits. When I pick up a beer with fruit on the label, I am initially a touch apprehensive. I wait for the possibility of a Hard Cider like taste with the hesitation of a contused prostitute, before taking a sip. I am HAPPY to report that the natural orange was perfectly subtle and a well balanced citrus flavors, with a clean, crisp finish.

Even after cooking, the flavors stayed intact and complimented the white cheddar beautifully.

 

I also used Kerrygold cheese, although this has nothing to do with Oktoberfest, it’s just really great cheddar. The flavors are perfect for this recipe.

Cheddar Beer Biscuits

2 cups of flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sugar

1 stick (8 tbs) butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup craft wheat beer (Orange Wheat from Hanger 24 preferred)

1/2 cup white cheddar (Kerrygold reserve preferred)

Preheat oven to 400.

Put the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in your food processor and pulse until combined. Add your butter cubes and  process until the butter is evenly distributed, about 1-2 minutes.

Move to a bowl and add the cheese and beer and stir until combined.

 

Dump the dough onto a floured surface. Squish together with your hands to form a ball and then flatten into a rectangle about 6  inches wide and 10 inches long and 2 inches high. Use a sharp knife to cut the biscuits into squares.

 

You can make them as big or small as you want, but this recipe will make 6-8 average sized biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with a bit of sea salt and pepper.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown.

 

Oktoberfest Beer Creme Brulee

I know that Oktoberfest started as the celebration of a royal wedding that would have put the recent William/Kate union to shame. I also know that it is not an actual proper Holiday.
But for those of us completly in love with all things Beer, it might as well be.
Oktoberfest, as in the one that takes place late September  to Early October in Munich, is about LOCAL beer. I love all beer, but I have a special affinity for beer brewed close to home. Although this beer isn’t actual German beer, being that I am in California, it is in line with the locavore spirit of Oktoberfest and their rule for never serving any beer at the official Oktoberfest Festival that is not brewed in their own backyard. And that backyard would be the Munich City limits.
For this recipe, which I loved SO much, I used another incredible local craft beer, this one came from  Bison Brewing. Honey Basil Beer. It’s local (to those of us in California), it’s organic and the flavors are amazing.

Beer Creme Brulee: Creme Beer-lee
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Bison Honey Basil Beer (can sub German style wheat beer)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus another 1/4 cup for the topping
  • Preheat the oven to 300.

Put the cream, and beer in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook just until its bubbly around the edges but not boiling. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk until frothy, about 3 minutes.

While continuing to whisk, slowly add the cooled cream mixture until well combined.

Put 8 ceramic ramekins in a baking dish, filling the baking dish with about 1 inch of water (don’t get any water in the ramekins).

Pour your custard through a mesh strainer into ramekins.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the edges are set and the middle is still slightly wobbly.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, at room temp, in the water filled baking dish for 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to chill and set in the fridge for 4 hours. Right before serving, cover the top of your set custard with an even, thin layer of sugar (about 1/2-1 tsp). Then run a culinary torch over your sugar, slowly, until it melts and turns an amber color.

Notes

Cooking tip: Don’t brulee the sugar until you are ready to serve. After about an hour of sitting, the sugar will start to liquefy again.