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Ramona King

Instant Pot pork shoulder

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Love beer? We've got 10 recipes that will have you hopping (see what we did there?) into the kitchen now

There is something about the idea of falling leaves that makes me want to cook with beer. I have no clue what that's all about, but whenever the temperatures even hint at dropping a few degrees, I want to bust out a six-pack of lager style beer and start making chili. 

If I'm being honest however, I just enjoy beer period. Whether in a beergarita or in place of a light-bodied white wine in my mussels, I believe that beer is one of the most underutilized tools in any must have seasoning kit. There are just so many endless flavor profiles not to mention amazing craft beer being produced right here in the South. Adding beer to your cooking routine not only helps to tenderize and flavor your recipe, it also allows for you to sneak a few sips here and there. 

From grilled meats to savory stews, you're going to want to cook these beer scented dishes now. 

Instant Pot Barbecue Pork Shoulder
This barbecue-style pork recipe is ultra easy — you won’t even need to pull out a knife. Simply season the pork, pour in a generous amount of beer and combine everything in the Instant Pot to cook. The boozy braising liquid is delicious served over grits or mashed potatoes, or when reduced, can act as a tasty barbecue sauce for a pulled pork sandwich. We like to use Texas Pete hot sauce in this recipe.
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Brisket Chili

While this recipe has a longer cook time than a chili made from ground beef, your patience will be rewarded with an intensely beefy stew thickened by the pureé of rehydrated dried chiles. Here the meat is tenderized by the addition of a thick lager style beer. Briskets are typically divided into two parts: the leaner flat cut and the fattier point cut. Because we don’t want to spend hours skimming off rendered fat from the chili, we prefer to to use the flat cut in this recipe.
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Beer Poached Shrimp
Drunk shrimp. What could be better? We recommend large, fresh sweet shrimp with heads on and lots of French bread for sopping up this boozy broth. Added chef Virginia Willis, who tested it: “The longer the shrimp is left in the flavorful liquid, the more flavor the shrimp will absorb. Shrimp cooked in the shell will be more tender and juicy than shrimp that is cooked already peeled and deveined. And, of course, shrimp in the shell will take slightly longer to cook than shrimp that is peeled.”
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Frito Pie Bombs

Eating a Frito pie is typically a two-handed affair, but these lager cheese bombs transform the bowl and fork experience into a more hand-held device, making them perfect for a heavy hors d’oeuvre or tailgate treat. This particular recipe uses the oven for baking; however, you could also roll the shaped bombs in more crushed Fritos, then deep fry for an extra crispy exterior.
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Beer Can Chicken
This is probably the dish that kicked off my love of beer in food. Made simply by seasoning up an whole chicken and then placing it over a can of beer of your choice to cook over the coats of a grill. For this recipe we love to use a dry rub to properly season our bird. This is the recipe you'll want to break out to impress your friends, all you need to do is sacrifice one can of beer. 
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Grilled Beer-Brined Pork Chops
Using beer as the central ingredient of a brine imparts some of the natural bitterness and hops flavor into the pork. This is a great no-frills brine, as the soy and honey do not need to be heated to dissolve the salt; just add everything directly into a plastic bag.
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Beer-braised Barbecued Beef With Cider Slaw
Beef and Beer. What’s not to like. Check out this perfect recipe for beer braised beef and apple cider slaw. Yum. You’ll probably need 2 or 3 roasts to total 6 pounds. Trim excess fat well. If you want to use a slow cooker after browning meat and heating the liquid, transfer the mixture to the cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. You can freeze some cooked meat for later and add the sauce separately. For each cup of meat, heat 1/4 cup barbecue sauce thinned with 2 tablespoons water. Figure 1/2 cup meat per sandwich.
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Pimento Beer Cheese

A party staple in Kentucky, beer cheese can either be served as a cold spread or as a warm fondue. For this recipe, we’ve given beer cheese even more of a Southern accent by likening it to pimento cheese. For the best results, grate your own cheese from the block instead of buying cheese that’s already shredded. The packaged stuff is coated in a food starch that does not melt as smoothly as freshly grated.
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Jumbo Barbecue Shrimp
Barbecue and beer are perhaps the best food pairing ever. Here, beer is used to create this hoppy buttery sauce that you one be able to stop eating. The sauce is delicious so have lots of good bread on hand for dipping. Abita Amber beer pairs well with this dish. Recipe courtesy of Parish in Atlanta, Ga.
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Beer Mustard

There are many different ways to make your own mustard, but we love the way the bitterness from the beer contrasts with the sharpness of the mustard. This is a wonderful complement to any sausage, as well as grilled meats (especially pork) and even a basic sandwich. If you own a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, you can prepare the entire dish in the blender. The heat from the blender will cook and thicken the egg yolks in the same way as the double boiler. Once the mustard has bloomed in the vinegar, transfer it, along with the remaining ingredients, to the blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and thickened.
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Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously. 

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