5 incredible ways to cook with stout

5 incredible ways to cook with stout

by Great British Chefs 15 March 2017

We love a pint of it – especially on St Patrick’s Day – but the rich, malty flavour of stout can also take some of our favourite dishes to whole new levels. Here are five ways to use the beer in your cooking.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

‘Guinness is good for you’ is a slogan that’d never make it past the Advertising Standards Authority today, but back in the 1920s it’s how the Dublin-based brewery peddled its beer. While there have been a few papers published that suggest a pint of the black stuff does actually have health benefits, it’s safe to say that the main reason we love it so much is because of its taste.

Just like those on the continent use wine to flavour their recipes, beer has been used for cooking in the UK and Ireland for centuries. Stout’s rich taste and thick, strong body makes it an amazing ingredient to work with, which is why it finds its way into stews, cakes and sauces. Simply using it in place of stock or wine is a good way to experiment with its flavour, but if you want to see how some of the best chefs and food bloggers in the UK use it, take a look at our collection of recipes below for some inspiration.

Of course, while Guinness is the most famous stout in the world, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give something different a try. There are hundreds of breweries in the UK and Ireland producing world-class stouts, each with their own unique flavour profile. You could even try making the same recipe with a couple of different bottles, just to see how they effect the final taste.

1. In a pie

If a bottle of stout isn’t poured into a pint glass and drunk, the majority of it will end up in a pie, as it does here in Regula Ysewijn’s beautiful slow-cooked version. Once carrots, onions and fat chunks of chuck steak are nicely browned, simply pour in a bottle of stout instead of the usual stock to create a sauce. The nutty, caramel flavours of the beer will add a depth and richness to the dish, which works especially well once the oysters have been added and everything is encased in the suet pastry.

2. In a sauce

It seems stout and seafood are a popular pairing with chefs as well as food writers, as this haute take on roast chicken from Pascal Aussignac demonstrates. A capon is a castrated rooster which has particularly flavourful and moist meat, which Pascal flavours with hay and serves with a smooth chestnut purée. But the dish only really comes together when the sauce is poured over the plate. A simple combination of Guinness, hay-infused water, blended oysters and butter, the flavours combine with the chestnuts and capon to create a roast like no other.

3. In a tart

What chef Richard Corrigan doesn’t know about Irish food isn’t worth knowing, and his wonderfully simple Honey and stout tart is a testament to the flavours of the Emerald Isle. Once the simple pastry case is made, the filling is a straightforward combination of oats and breadcrumbs stuck together with honey, golden syrup and a stout and apple syrup. The flavour of the stout really shines through here, so experiment with different varieties and see how they effect the final dish.

4. In ice cream

You can use anything to flavour ice cream these days (just look at how chefs in Italy are experimenting with their beloved gelato), but chefs have known that stout’s malty, chocolaty flavour works perfectly with the creamy consistency. Galton Blackiston’s simple stout ice cream allows the flavours of the beer to take centre stage, with a three-ingredient brown bread crumble adding a little bit of texture to the dish.

5. In a cake

Of all the dishes ever created that benefit from a glug or two of stout, chocolate cake has to be one of the biggest success stories. The beer already has a strong chocolate flavour, but when combined with the real stuff in the form of cake it keeps the crumb incredibly moist, adds richness to the cocoa and results in a much more interesting taste with layers of malt, hops, coffee and smoke all present.