Don’t limit beer to drinking — especially on St. Patrick’s Day. A splash here and there adds complex flavor to stews and braises, and it tastes especially delicious in cheesy foods. You may have heard about adding vodka or vinegar to your pie dough, but what about beer? Just a touch helps yield flaky results in Food Network Magazine’s recipe for beef pot pies with cheddar crust (pictured above). Beer is also a valuable ingredient in desserts. Stout and chocolate are a popular pairing: The dark brew’s rich coffee notes taste heavenly with cocoa-heavy treats. And darker ales tend to have a toasted caramel taste.
Not a beer drinker? No problem. Cooking with beer doesn’t mean your meal will taste like a hoppy pint. Think of beer as a flavor enhancer. It adds a “wow” factor that most people won’t be able to identify — they’ll just be begging you for the recipe. So crack open a bottle and get cooking! These recipes are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, or for any night when the craving for comfort food strikes.