Beer

Cooking with wine may be common practice, but many cooks overlook the flavor-enhancing potential of beer in all its myriad varieties. Lagers, pilsners, pale ales, brown ales, stouts— each offers a distinctive blend of grains, yeast, water, and flavorings, and can be used in recipes for results that range from subtle to surprising. Add a splash of dark beer to a black bean chili, and you’ll create a Southwestern stew with rich, almost meaty undertones. Simmer a fruity ale down to a syrup and you’ll have a salad dressing ingredient that rivals aged balsamic vinegar.