You Should Be Cooking Your French Dips In Dark Beer

The ideal French dip sandwich is a satisfying whirl of textures and flavors. The meat melts in your mouth, the roll is moist and chewy, and once you take a bite, the savory explosion creates an unforgettable experience. However, adding one simple element to your recipe can make the dish even better.

When you include beer, you benefit in two very different ways. First, the beer adds a unique taste that you can't really get from any other ingredient. It infuses your food with an earthy element that provides an intriguing depth to the flavor profile. Secondly, alcohol is an exceptional tenderizer for meat. Collagen is a protein that forms the connective tissue that keeps muscles strong and resilient. Beer contains alpha acids, which help break down collagen. By adding beer to your French dip recipe, the muscle tissue can no longer hold together, resulting in a highly desirable melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Why dark beer makes such a difference

If you aren't a beer connoisseur, you might not be aware of the vastly different flavor nuances the beverage offers. While all beers are either categorized as ales or lagers, there are over 100 different beer styles made around the world. There are seasonal brews, fruity brews, lighter brews, darker brews, and more.

Consequently, as an ingredient, each type of beer will add its own characteristics to a dish. For instance, a pilsner might be best for cooking sausage, but German wheat beer is best for bread. That means the beer you add to your dessert won't be the same one you add to your French dip recipe.

When it comes to cooking meat, especially if the juices will be used for dipping (like a French dip), a dark beer is your best bet. A stout adds a rich, flavorful depth to the jus, which gives your recipe an added dimension to make it a true winner.