Cook with Beer for Christmas Dinner
Christmas is all about celebrations, food and drinks. e has a long history. It was traditionally a goose that was roasted in previous centuries, but now it is either chicken or turkey. Farmers were less likely to process chickens and other domesticated birds because they provided a reliable source of eggs, an affordable and convenient source of protein. Conversely, geese only laid eggs seasonally, so their eggs weren’t as valuable as those of their fellow hens. During the 19th century, roasted goose continued to be the most popular choice for dinner, even after turkeys were introduced and slowly gained popularity.
No matter how you feel about eggnog, it’s a Christmas tradition. Though historians have struggled to pinpoint the exact origins of this holiday drink, which is made with spiced and spiked egg yolks and milk, many agree that the drink we know today is derived from a warm milk and ale drink from early medieval Britain, which was sipped by the upper class to toast good health and fortune. As soon as American rum made its way across the pond, it quickly replaced sherry as a cheaper alternative. The list goes on and on with Christmas pudding, mince pies, ginger bread, etc. This year, why not try something new? How about cooking with beer? You heard right!
Here are a few recipes that embody Christmas and would make a nice addition to your holiday table.
Sweet-Potato Shepherd’s Pie
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (90 percent lean)
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup Pilsner-style beer
- 2 teaspoons corn-starch
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover potatoes with 2 inches water in a pot; bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 17 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Mash with 2 tablespoons of oil; season with salt.
- Place beef in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up large pieces with a spoon, until browned, about 11 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon; pour off excess fat in the skillet.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil, mushrooms, and onion to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add beer; cook until reduced, about 3 minutes. Whisk together corn-starch, mustard, and broth in a bowl; add to skillet and bring to a boil. Return beef to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Top with mashed potatoes. Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Aged-Cheddar and Beer Dip
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) lager beer
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- 6 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 ounces Gruyere, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup coarsely crushed pretzel rods, plus whole pretzel rods for serving
- Inner celery stalks, for serving
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, about 2 minutes. Add thyme and mustard, then gradually add beer, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add cream cheese, a piece at a time, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in cheddar and Gruyere, a handful at a time, until melted. Remove from heat. Add Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkled with pretzel crumbs, with pretzel rods and celery.
- One 5-pound butterflied boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut in half
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (3 tablespoons)
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bottle (11.2 ounces) stout beer, such as Guinness
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Store-bought tomato jam or fruit chutney, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly with flour. Heat oil in a braiser pan or large deep-sided skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, sear lamb, fat-side down first, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes a batch. Transfer to a platter.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add Worcestershire, stout, and broth. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return lamb, fat-side up, and any accumulated juices to pan and return to a boil.
- Cover pan and transfer to oven. Cook, spooning juices over lamb every 30 minutes, until meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven; uncover and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 3 days.
- Remove solidified fat from top. Place pan over medium-low and gently simmer, covered, until lamb is warmed through, about 15 minutes. Remove rosemary. Using 2 forks, shred meat into large pieces. Transfer to a tureen or other serving vessel. Pour braising liquid over lamb. Serve with jam or chutney.
Traditional Crepes Suzette
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup beer (not dark)
For the filling
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavoured liqueur
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
For the garnish
- 2 oranges, peel and pith removed, flesh cut into segments
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
For the sauce
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn-starch
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavoured liqueur
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Whisk together milk, sugar, butter, eggs, and oil. Sift together flour and salt. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture. Pour batter through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Whisk in beer. Refrigerate, covered, 6 hours (or overnight).
- Let the batter stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Heat a crepe pan or a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the pan, swirling to cover the bottom. Cook, flipping once, until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat.
- Stir together butter, sugar, liqueur, and zest. Spread 2 teaspoons over 1 crepe. Roll up; place on a baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat.
- Bring juice and sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; skim foam. Whisk together corn-starch and 1 tablespoon water; add to pan. Whisk in liqueur. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover crepes with foil; heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to plates. Top with sauce and oranges. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
*Recipe credits: Martha Stewart
Have a beautiful Christmas you guys, and don’t forget to invite us for your Beer Christmas Dinner.