Beer is a no-brainer for the Super Bowl, but there’s no reason to only serve it in a glass. Why not cook with it as well? When incorporated into a dish, beer can provide a range of different flavors. I’m not talking beer-can chicken here (and certainly won’t begrudge you for cooking it), but rather dishes in which the beer plays a vital role in the final product.
Plenty of breweries and restaurants around town incorporate beer into their own recipes. Here are just a few that would fit perfectly on a Super Bowl menu.
Grass-Fed Meatballs with Triple C Smoked Amber Tomato BBQ Sauce
Recipe courtesy Alyssa Gorelick of Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
Not only can you bring your own beer or wine into Chef Alyssa Gorelick’s cooking classes in Atherton Market, but sometimes the classes call for beer as an ingredient. Gorelick is offering a South End Pub Fare class in March and two Cooking with Beer classes in April that will feature NoDa Brewing Co.’s beers.
Ingredients for the sauce
2 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup pureed tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
6 ounces Triple C Brewing Smoked Amber
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions for the sauce
1. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, then add in the onion to cook for 3-4 minutes, to soften and sweeten. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to keep it from burning.
2. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the beer, and cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken. Stir occasionally with a spatula to make sure it doesn’t stick on the bottom.
3. Once the sauce has become a paste consistency, slowly add the beer, a little at a time. Taste as you go to add the appropriate amount. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients for the meatballs
1 pound grass-fed ground meat (Gorelick uses Windy Hill Farms)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 egg yolk
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon granulated onion
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions for the meatballs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix up the meatballs. Form the desired shape by rolling them in your hands. (Use wet hands to keep the meat from sticking to you, and be gentle — over-mixing the meatballs can make them tough.)
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet and once it begins to smoke, add the meatballs and cook for about a minute, once brown, turn to cook on all sides.
4. Don’t worry about cooking them all the way through in the pan, transfer them to a sheet pan and spoon a little of the BBQ sauce over the top. Roast in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes to finish cooking.
5. Serve with the remaining BBQ sauce.
Lazy Bird Brown Ale Beer-Candied Bacon
Recipe courtesy Birdsong Brewing/Mallory Belcher
Birdsong Brewing Co. holds the distinction of being the only Charlotte brewery with its own cookbook. Their “Craft Beer Lover’s Cookbook” features more than 60 recipes incorporating several of Birdsong’s beers. (Pre-order a book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In this recipe, the brewery’s Lazy Bird Brown Ale — which was recently released in cans — adds a nice sweetness to the beer-candied bacon. If you end up with leftover beer syrup, Mallory Belcher notes that it can be strained and served over vanilla ice cream.
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1 pound brown sugar (dark is preferred), plus 1/4 cup
1 pint (16 ounce) Lazy Bird Brown Ale
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Combine beer and brown sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil. Allow to reduce for several minutes until a thick syrup develops.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
4. Line a sheet pan (easy cleanup!) and put a roasting rack on top of it.
5. Dip the bacon in chilled syrup until well coated. Arrange each strip on the rack. They should not touch.
6. Bake in five-minute increments. Coat bacon each time until it reaches desired crispiness (about 20-25 minutes).
7. Sprinkle with sea salt (optional) to finish.
Super Bowl Sriracha-Stout Chex Mix
Recipe courtesy Rob Masone, founder of Twisted Eats by Kre8
Last year, Rob Masone left his position as executive chef at Heist Brewery to start his own catering company called Kre8 Xperiences. Anyone who had Masone’s dishes at Heist should know that he’s not your run-of-the-mill caterer.
Masone also launched the Twisted Eats by Kre8 food truck, which you can find parked outside Wooden Robot Brewery from Wednesday through Saturday, and on the last Sunday of the month for brunch. There’s a reason the truck is regularly parked outside Wooden Robot: Masone uses the brewery’s beer in every dish.
1 pint Wooden Robot Spiced Stout
3 tablespoons Sriracha
6 cups Rice Chex
1 cup roasted cashews
1 cup wasabi peas
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black sesame seed
1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
2. Reduce stout & Sriracha in a sauce pan over low heat until it resembles a thick syrup.
3. Incorporate butter into the stout syrup.
4. Remove from heat and wisk in Worcestershire sauce.
5. Mix Chex, wasabi peas, cashews, Thai green curry paste & garlic powder.
6. Pour liquid over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly in mixing bowl.
7. Lay onto greased baking sheet.
8. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes.
9. Remove from oven, while still warm toss with black sesame seed.
Birdsong Jalapeño Pale Ale Beer Cheese
Recipe courtesy Jeff McElwee of FūD at Salud
Last year, Salud Beer Shop in NoDa expanded into the space next door with a new concept: FūD at Salud. Headed up by Jeff McElwee, the deli portion of the business uses beer in a variety of recipes.
Hey guys! We are open until 8pm! Don't forget to swing by & grab growlers and/or cans for the big game tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/x1A50a22DC
— Birdsong Brewing (@BirdsongBrewing) January 23, 2016
1 16-ounce can of Birdsong Brewing Jalapeño Pale Ale
1 pound easy-melt cheese (American cheese or white Velveeta work as well), cubed
1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1. In a saucepan over low heat, add cheese and 8 ounces of beer.
2. Place remaining beer in a glass and sip occasionally.
3. Cover saucepan and stir every 5-7 minutes. While cheese is cooking, prep veggies and set aside.
4. Once cheese is fully melted, mix in veggies and transfer to serving bowl. Enjoy!
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Beer Cheese
Recipe courtesy OMB
Next to barbecue, beer cheese might be the most divisive foodstuff in the state of North Carolina. OK, that’s not true. But I did receive two excellent beer cheese recipes and thought I would include them both for variety’s sake.
If you’ve been to The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, you’ve perhaps dunked a well-salted pretzel into this one.
Note: This recipe was scaled down from one that originally produced 16 quarts, so there may be some variance. And if you need the full 16-quart recipe, I’m going to need an invitation to your Super Bowl party.
1/4 cup yellow onions, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1.5 ounces of butter, unsalted
1.5 ounces of flour, all-purpose
2.5 ounces smoked gouda cheese
6 ounces cheddar cheese
2.5 ounces pepper jack cheese
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
12 ounces of Captain James Jack Pilsner
1. Melt butter, then sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
2. Add flour to make a roux.
3. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Slowly pour in beer while whisking to avoid clumps and breaking sauce. Bring to a boil.
5. After boil is reached, add heavy cream. Lower the temperature and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
6. While simmering, add cheese slowly while stirring to melt evenly.
7. Add salt, pepper and sugar.
8. Continue to cook for 10 minutes, then allow to cool before serving.
Photo: Courtesy of Birdsong Brewing