When it starts to get chilly, we pass on the white wine and head straight for the beer list. But it's not all about what we can sip on. When Oktoberfest is in full swing—and by night we're already a few pints in—we sometimes choose to pour the beer right into our meal instead. Here are seven recipes (that call for a hefty pour) that we have on tap this month.
The cold, hard truth of bread-making: It’s not actually that hard, if you use the right recipe. This wildly simple spelt-based loaf includes fresh basil and a hefty pour of brew. Try going off-book by adding whole-grain mustard and sharp cheddar, or garlic and tangy feta.
Just because it’s beer-battered doesn’t mean it’s deep-fried. Dip thickly sliced, sweet yellow onions into a mixture of flour, panko breadcrumbs, spices, and lots of hoppy pale ale. Bake until golden and serve with your favorite dipping sauces. If you’re a real champ, throw a few on that frozen veggie burger you’re about to make for dinner.
Even if you don’t like drinking beer, we bet you’d like this “watermelemonade” shandy. While typical shandies are beer mixed with lemonade or fizzy lemon soda, this one has a refreshing twist with help from our favorite melon. Mix fresh watermelon juice (purée cubed watermelon in the blender and strain) and lemonade in a tall glass, then pour in a cold wheat beer.
Beer cheese is pretty much exactly what its name suggests—and when used as a dip, makes a German pretzel taste roughly a million times better. Typically full of cream, this less stomach-clutch-and-moan-inducing beer cheese soup calls for vegetable stock to thin out the rich cheese and pale ale. To make matters better, the bisque takes just 15 minutes to put together.
Chocolate and beer cake. Whiskey frosting. We’ll just wipe away our tears of joy and head to the kitchen. This vegan cake may not have eggs or butter, but once you pour in the frothy, dark stout, you’ll forget all about dairy. Cut a thick slice and maybe pour another glass of beer. PS. Don’t be intimidated by sucanat: It’s just a variety of unprocessed cane sugar.
Having people over for Oktoberfest? Balsamic and beer-braised pork needs just 10 minutes of prep time, then slowly cooks for three hours in a dutch oven. It’s the perfect starter recipe for those who don’t cook a lot of meat; there’s really no way to mess this one up.
We always want to impress our friends (and ourselves) by making beer-can chicken, but sometimes time isn’t on our side. These quick beer-marinated drumsticks and thighs—or breasts for non-bone fans)—may look a bit less exciting than the full bird resting atop a can, but it tastes just as good. And isn’t that what really matters?