It is a very common thing in the restaurant industry to go out for a beer with your coworkers after a long, crazy day spent in a hot kitchen. But beer is more than just a tasty beverage.
The versatility of beer as an ingredient has a wide range of possibilities, including as a flavoring agent or as a natural tenderizer.
At the YachtSea Grille, we use the bubbly beverage in our beer-battered haddock sandwich, a beer and muenster cheese soup, beer and orange marinated steak fajita tacos and in a black velvet sauce.
I am sure some of you might want to try doing some of your own experimenting at home. Just keep in mind that the more you cook the beer, the more the flavor will intensify. So depending on what recipe you are trying out, you might want to consider which type of beer to use in your recipe.
I tend to shy away from IPAs as I don't really enjoy the hoppiness in this particular beer. I tend to cook with lagers or stouts. But you should always aim to please your palate, so cook with something you would normally drink.
Beer and Orange marinated steak
1 pound steak, cut into small strips
Juice from 5-6 oranges (save the zest from one of the oranges)
1 (12 ounce) beer (I use Yuengling,
but any regular lager will do)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Before juicing the oranges make sure you zest one of them and save it to add it to the marinate liquid. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl or container, add the steak and make sure all the ingredients are fully integrated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (the longer it marinates, the more tender the steak will be),
Once you are ready to cook, you may do so in a pan or grill.
This can be enjoyed in fajitas with sauteed peppers and onions, tacos, burritos or as a main protein accompanied by rice and beans.
Rov Avila, a native of Honduras, is executive chef at YachtSea Grille and a culinary arts instructor at MTI Culinary Arts.