1. Drink it
This is a great option of course (and what happened to most of the beer).
To celebrate my Irish heritage I ate some cabbage for dinner of course. I also whipped up some delicious Irish beer bread to accompany it.
I don’t know if they actually made this bread in Ireland ever, but it’s along the same lines of Irish Soda bread, no yeast required. Apparently the Irish used a lot of soft wheat (it’s cheaper than hard wheat, and a lot of soft wheat was grown there), soft wheat is a lighter flour, so it doesn’t require (or do well with) yeast to rise. Instead of yeast, baking soda or in this case beer is used as a leavener.
Traditional soda/beer bread is made with just 4 ingredients: Flour, baking soda, salt, and sour milk. I added a few spices and some sugar to my bread to make it a little more interesting, and I poured some butter on top before baking to make a nice buttery crust (hey it’s a holiday right?). The fat is on top of this bread rather than inside it. If the ingredients are over mixed, the bread is dense and chewy instead of light and airy, so it is important to just stir a few times until the ingredients are mixed and then stir no more. This makes for one easy, quick, and delicious bread to bake, just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and stir a few times.
IRISH BEER BREAD
(this recipe is adapted from several different beer bread recipes I found online, there’s millions!)
1 12oz. beer (preferably Irish) unopened at room temp (I left a bottle sitting in a window for an hr or 2)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rye flour (or use 3 cups all-purpose, I happened to have a little rye laying around)
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar or honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dill weed (dry- use at least 2x more if fresh) Can use other spices to go with different beers, coriander and a tiny bit of cinnamon are good with sweeter beers.
2 tsp dried mustard seeds (grind or use mustard powder)
2-4 tbsp unsalted butter
Listen to this fabulous rendition of a popular Irish song while you cook:
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a bread pan.
Throw all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
Pour in the beer. (Note: remember to pour the beer slowly, otherwise the air will escape before cooking and the bread will not rise.)
Stir until all ingredients are mixed, all the flour is moist (about 10 stirs).
Put the dough into the greased pan.
Pour 4 tbsp melted butter evenly over the top.
Cook for about 35 min, until the bread is golden on top, and a fork comes out clean. (may take longer than 35, I’m at high altitude).
Sing and dance along to my favorite Irish song (and church song) while you wait for your bread to cook:
Warning: Share with friends or you will eat it all by yourself in one day (Mine was gone in 2).
This bread is super good plain, but also awesome topped with some good Irish cheese and broiled, and I am sure it is amazing with peanut butter.
Another thing you can make with a bottle of beer is….
I’ve been a bean kick lately and I was looking for some new ways to cook beans.
These are super delicious loaded up with some sour cream(or homemade yogurt), cheese, and mango (or another sweet) salsa. They are a bit spicy on their own, but the cheese and or yogurt really balances out the spice.
2 tbsp cooking oil
4 cups cooked beans (I used pinto, but I am sure great northern or red beans/many other beans would work fine.) (See chickpea post to learn how to cook dried beans)
1 onion chopped
1 small can diced tomatoes (~14 oz.) (I actually used what I had leftover from a 28 oz. can which was pretty much 2 pieces of tomato and a cup of juice)
2 large cloves of garlic
3 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced
1 bottle of beer
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cloves
1 tsp brown sugar (Adds a little sweetness to take away from the spice, but it shouldn’t be sweet like baked beans)
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (I’m from Maryland)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat.
Add the chopped onion, and cook until translucent but not brown.
Add the tomatoes and garlic, cook until the garlic begins to brown and the tomato is bubbly.
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered for an hour or two, until most of the liquid disappears.
(I suggest a large hot bowlful, topped with a generous spoon of plain yogurt, and a sprinkling of Colby cheese, topped with a little salsa.)