I love using alcohol based marinades!! And no it’s not because I am a drunk, that’s a separate topic altogether.
It’s because the alcohol in the product helps to tenderize the meat. It also Imparts some of the flavors of the product into the meat. And I like to use different products for different dishes.
I love using a good red wine to make my homemade marinara. The wine helps break up some of the acidity of the tomatoes.
I love making my Cowboy Baked Beans with a good bourbon, or a brandy depending on the other ingredients. The bourbon helps the molasses and brown sugar mix well with the navy beans and the beef or sausage.
When I make chili or beer batter I like to use a lager, pilsner or pale ale. They all mix well with the spices I put in. It doesn’t matter whether it’s beef, pork or turkey. Some of these also go well with fish marinade but that depends on the fish. Some fish need a stronger flavor.
Now, with Stouts, Porters, Barleywines, Old Ales and Scotch Ales I like to make either a BBQ sauce or use it for marinating beef. Beef needs a stronger flavor for a marinade and depending on the dish the higher alcohol content can help break down fats.
I have not made beef stroganoff in a while and this was the first time using a beer marinade. Usually I do a combination of Worcestershire and Soy Sauce for a marinade and only let it set for 20 minutes in the fridge. For this marinade I decided to use Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout for a couple reasons:
- It was the oldest stout in my fridge and I wanted to use it before it went bad.
- I liked the mouthfeel of this stout and thought it would lend itself well to the beef stroganoff.
- I tend to try to line up my beers in single file on the shelf and using this one would open up room for a new six pack. I know… Kinda OCD of me… but hey.. it’s my fridge. You arrange yours the way you want it and don’t worry about mine.
So if you’re interested, the recipe is below. It was delicious by the way. So much so that the sauce from the stroganoff tasted so good I had to use biscuits to sop up the remainder.
Stout Marinade Beef Stroganoff
This recipe is for crockpot cooking, so cooking time will be much less if you cook on the stove top.
Prep Time: Marinade overnight; Prep time before crock pot turns on 20 minutes; prep time for thickening sauce 5 mins; crockpot cook time 10 – 11 hours.
- 2 lbs of cubed beef (chuck roast, steak or in my case kebab meat)
- 1- 12 oz. bottle of your preferred Stout Beer
- 2 large Vidalia onions
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 lb. of sliced mushrooms
- 3 cups of beef broth
- 2 carrots chopped into big sections
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Ground Thyme
- 3 tbsp. Sour cream
- 2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp. Chopped Parsley
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Place the beef in a stainless steel (or other equally suitable bowl) large enough to hold the beef and the bottle of beer. Make sure to cover the beef thoroughly in the beer and place a cover over the container and let in marinade in the refrigerator over night.
In the morning, chop onions into 1/4 to 1/2 inch squares and line bottom of crockpot. Place garlic on top. Take beef from marinade container and place into crock pot, keeping it from contacting sides. Place sliced mushrooms around beef between crock pot wall and beef. Place chopped carrot pieces and two bay leaves on top of beef. Pour any remaining marinade, Worcestershire, soy sauce and beef broth over beef. Cover crock pot and cook on low a minimum of 8 hours, maximum of 10 hours. Do not remove cover during cooking.
When the first stage is complete you can remove the carrots and bay leaves. You can set the carrots aside for something else but dispose of the bay leaves. Add the remaining ingredients as a thickener except mix the two cups of milk and the 2 tbsp of flour into a roué and stir into the mix. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Let cook on low another 30 to 45 minutes and it will be ready for serving.
I like to serve on a bed of buttered wide egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream and some parsley sprinkled on top, accompanied by a biscuit and paired with a good stout. For the picture above I used the Weyerbacher Tiny Imp Stout, which went very well with the meal. Try these stouts or your own favorite in the recipe.