Recipe: Tailgating (and Cooking) with Beer

MF Beer Chili

Baseball playoffs and football season are providing plenty of opportunities for delicious tailgating. If beer is normally only a beverage at your tailgate party, try using it as an ingredient in your favorite tailgate foods. I love what Mark Bittman said: “Cooking with beer makes sense: not only is it more flavorful than water, but it’s also more flavorful than any store-bought chicken stock and less ethically objectionable as well. And unlike wine or liquor, you can substitute beer cup-for-cup for stock or water when you’re braising or making soup. Yet like wine, beer is acidic, which comes in handy when you’re baking quick bread, cake or fried foods, because you need a little acidity to activate baking soda.”

Braise your brats or pork roast in your favorite beer, or whip up a batch of quick buttery beer bread. Is there anything better than beer batter for your onion rings? No. And if you haven’t slow cooked cocktail weiners with beer, chili sauce, and grape jelly, it’s time to do so.

Of course the ultimate tailgate food, rich delicious chili, is enhanced by the acidity and yeasty tones of a great beer. Serve it with breadsticks or pigs-in-a-blanket, and plenty of corn chips, cheese, and sour cream. Here, try my recipe:

Tailgate Chili with Beer

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons season salt (I like a cajun mix)
4 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1 large can whole tomatoes
12 ounces (one can/bottle) beer
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 pound ground beef or sausage

Heat a large pot with olive oil. Add onion and celery and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic, season salt, chili powder, ketchup, worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Stir and allow flavors to combine for a few minutes before adding tomatoes, beer, beans, and corn. Stir and allow mixture to come to a low boil before crumbling ground beef or sausage into the pot. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper before serving.

When it comes to dessert for your tailgate party, the perfect pairing for a bottle of cold beer is one of our Decorated Cookie Cakes. Easy to serve and plenty for your crowd, they always bring their best game to your tailgate. You can even create your own message to cheer on your favorite team.

What are your favorite things to cook with beer? Share your ideas in the comments section!

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