100 Ways to Use Beer in Food and Drinks #1: Pizza
In case you thought we were bluffing in our quest to make 100 foods and drinks better by adding beer, we weren’t. Here’s dish #1.
I like pizza. I love beer. So why hasn’t anyone thought to put beer in the pizza? Well it doesn’t matter now, because I did. I’ve long realized that homemade pizza (with store-bought sauce and crust) is better than delivery by a long shot, so homemade pizza with beer in it should be even better, right?
Last night, my girlfriend and I tried it out. I figured it would be cheese, broccoli, green peppers, and pepperoni, with a beer-spiked sauce. Then my wonderful girlfriend picked up a package of pancetta to add in to the mix. To balance that out, we went healthy with a whole wheat crust.
I had a batch of my “fuggly winter Belgian pale ale” and some Yeungling Lager in the fridge. At first I thought I’d use the lager, since it is a smoother brew with less of a hoppy flavor. Then I rethought, and figured the earthy tastes of the fuggles dry hopped in the beer along with the cinnamon I added to the beer would complement the pizza well. Plus, I brewed the “fuggly” beer myself. I figured there’d be more reason to brag if it was good with my own brew. It was.
While the pizza cooled, I cracked open a bottle of my “fuggly” pale ale and waited (as long as I could — which isn’t really long at all). Finally, we tried the pizza. Now I’m telling you for real that I have reason to brag. The sauce had a subtle malty taste with a tang to it. The pancetta also had a unique taste that kind of made it a bit sweeter, but with a bite. Finally, the veggies tasted the best. When you bit into a pepper or piece of broccoli, they had a juicy, crispy, and had a hint of that delicious brew I made.
I’ve included the recipe for the brew and the pizza below. However, take charge and make them both your own. I adapted the recipe for the beer from my local homebrew store, added cinnamon during the boil and dry hopped. Pour the beer into whatever you want and as generously you want — these are just suggestions according to my tastes. You’re welcome.
“Fuggly Winter Belgian Pale Ale”
(Adapted from Keystone Homebrew w/my own twist to it)
– 6.6 lb. Muntons Extra Light Malt Extract
– ½ lb. Dingemann’s Aromatic Malt 22 L
– ¼ lb. Dingemann’s Caramunich Malt 19
– 3 sticks cinnamon (add during last 15 mins of boil)
– 1 ½ oz. Styrian Goldings Hop Pellets (60 mins)
– ¼ oz. Styrian Goldings Hop Pellets (15 mins)
– ¼ oz. Styrian Goldings Hop Pellts (1 min)
– 2 oz. Fuggles Hop Pellets (Dry Hop)
– SafBrew T-58 Dry Yeast – Should’ve used liquid
– ½ a package of whole wheat crust
– ½ can of pizza sauce
– ½ cup of pancetta
– Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
– Broccoli and Green Peppers
Preheat oven to 375 °F
Chop up the veggies to your liking and the pancetta if it isn’t already diced for you.
Pour half the can of the pizza sauce into a small saucepan and let it sit on medium heat covered.
While sauce is heating, put the pancetta in another pan and turn the heat on to medium. Then, pour ¼ cup of your beer into the pan with the pancetta in it.
While everything’s simmering, spread the dough into a pizza-shape (yes, that would be a circle) and let it sit (this should all be done on a cookie sheet or some other sort of flat metal pan).
Pour ¼ cup beer into the sauce, stir it up for a few minutes, and give it a taste. If it tastes good, leave it — if it needs more, add more! Drink your beer. When the sauce is to your liking, take the sauce off the burner and let it cool.
Now, throw your veggies into another pan, and pour some beer in there! I’d go with ¼ cup again. Cover the pan it let it sit for a steaming effect. Check on it and taste a veggie to see if it is to your liking. Drink your beer.
Now, spread your sauce evenly onto the pizza crust. You don’t have to use all of the sauce — decide for yourself. Then, put some mozzarella cheese on, along with some of the veggies and maybe some pepperoni. Put more cheese on — again, to your liking. Finally, put the rest of the veggies on, more pepperoni, and the pancetta.
Put the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven and set the timer for 15-20 minutes (or whatever the package of dough suggests). Check on it periodically until it is cooked how you like it. Drink the rest of your beer.