Raise your glass if you love beer!
Oktoberfest - the season when beer-lovers everywhere can drink beer with abandon and blame it on a German tradition they know nothing about. :)
No judgement - I’m one of those people! I’m not a huge beer drinker - I’m not a fan of most beers. I do love a good stout, and on a really hot day occasionally a lemon shandy or gose/sour style will hit the spot. But as far as Oktoberfest goes, I really don’t know that much...and hey, this is supposed to be a fun blog to read so I did a little research. And I was going to write a bit about it but hey, I’m drinking a beer and realized, “I can just link a great article!” So, click and read here about Oktoberfest, then come right back and finish this blog. I’ll wait.
Good stuff, huh? Well, keep readin’ ‘cause it gets better.
Last month we celebrated our friend’s homecoming from her deployment with the Army National Guard. To honor her properly, we made a couple home brews - a hard cider and a cerveza-style (YES I know it’s not German and YES I used it in the German recipes - cut me some slack!). We had a huge pot of nacho cheese with tortilla chips, and of course had beer leftover. What better way to use up those leftovers than with a tummy-warming pot of cheesy beer soup and beer bread?
The bread was easy...beer, flour and butter - that’s it! You can of course mix in lots of different things - chopped onion, pepper, cheese, nuts, whatever your heart desires! The Instant Pot will make this loaf of bread dense (just like anything baked in the IP). The beer lends a bitter taste but it’s SO good with butter melting over it!
I knew the soup, however, would be a bit of a challenge. Typically with beer cheese soups, they are made with shredded cheese - and I wanted to use cheese sauce. The other issue? Beer cheese soups need constant (or near constant) stirring to have a good, smooth texture. Can’t stir stuff in the Instant Pot while it’s cooking! I surveyed some home chefs and we all came to the same conclusion - bad idea to use the Instant Pot for a cheese sauce-based beer soup. :(
So, here is the beer bread recipe I made in the Instant Pot - yay - and the cheese soup recipe I made on the stovetop using the new Kindsay silicone utensils. I added kale to our soup - I wouldn’t recommend it!
Sometime we just need to admit - Instant Pot is amazing but it is NOT a kitchen do-it-all. It has limitations and those limitations include burning soups that don’t have enough broth. Live and learn right?
And in case you’re not over all the beer yet, fill up your mug and raise a toast - PROST!
A note on this bread - use half whole wheat and half white flour. You’ll up the fiber and nutrition content without changing the density of the bread too much. Or if you want to use all whole wheat flour, you definitely can, just remember to add some gluten or it won’t rise properly.
Instant Pot Beer Bread
- 12 oz beer
- 3 cups self-rising flour (or combine 3 cups regular flour, 1 ½ tsp salt, 4 ½ tsp baking powder)
- 2 TB melted butter
- Gently mix flour and beer until just mixed.
- Pour in butter and fold in.
- Pour two cups water into inner liner of Instant Pot.
- Spray bowl/baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour batter into dish and cover with foil.
- Lower into Instant Pot (use trivet).
- Set to high pressure for 65 minutes.
- Allow pressure to naturally release
- Remove from Instant Pot and cool.
Beer Cheese Soup
- 1 TB vegetable oil or butter
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 small poblano pepper, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, shredded
- 2 c chicken stock
- 1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
- 1 12 oz bottle beer
- 3 cup cheese sauce (I used nacho cheese but you could use any kind of cheese sauce or shreds you fancy)
- ½ - 1 cup milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Peel and shred carrots. Dice onion, pepper and celery. (I like a chunkier soup so I diced coarsely)
- Saute veggies in butter or oil til onion turns translucent..
- Add beer and Worcestershire sauce, stir well. Add cheese. Simmer until heated through. Add milk as needed to thin to desired consistency.
- Serve with Instant Pot Beer Bread.