This comforting and homey beef stew showcases locally brewed stout.
Cooking with beer is a wonderful way to add layers of flavor to whatever dish you’re making. Beer has warm, earthy notes that complement many foods and can be used in place of wine (or any liquid for that matter).
I use beer to brine meats, make quick pan sauces and flavor breads. Depending on what I am making, I like to use darker beers, which have a stronger taste. Change the kind of beer you use and your recipe will be different each time. For instance, I like wheat beers for my brines. Just remember that the rule is the same for beer as it is for wine: If it does not taste good enough to drink, it will not taste good in your food.
A fun way to try new beers is to take a trip to a local brewery. Microbreweries can be found just about everywhere, and most offer a tasting menu. (Plus, they are relatively inexpensive, and you support a local business.) You can sample multiple varieties of beer to decide what kinds you like best.
My stew recipe is made with stout instead of the traditional red wine. Stout is dark, rich and almost creamy, making it my favorite beer to use for this hearty stew loaded with beef and mushrooms. Give it a try. I promise that you will be adding beer to many more of your favorite recipes!