Beer: Beverage/"Secret" ingredient
Like many men I know, my dad throws a huge dollop of improvisation into just about everything he cooks.
Especially when he makes barbecue sauce. He gets a twinkle in his eye and a little extra pep in his step as he bounces about the kitchen, grabbing honey from the pantry, an orange from the fruit bowl, vanilla extract and peppercorns from the spice cabinet, etc... If the spirit moves him and the season is right, he'll run out to his well-tended garden to grab a handful of jalapeno peppers to heat things up. It's obvious that he loves the ritual of it all: Add a dash of something. Stir. Taste (while staring at the ceiling as if the recipe is up there). Repeat. Who needs measuring cups/spoons?
And, to "balance it out," a fair amount of beer always ends up in the pot. And even though it's always a little different each time, the result is always fabulous, and better than the last batch he made.
I know some guys who would put beer in a cheesecake if they thought they could get away with it. (And, apparently, you can.) So the only thing that surprises me about the new Guinness Draught Beer Blend barbecue sauce from Bull's Eye is that it's just now coming out. I would think brand managers would have been huddled around conference room tables, planning to launch a line of beer-flavored foods long before now. The stuff wouldn't even have to taste like beer. I have a hunch that, for many beer lovers, just knowing it's in there is comfort enough.
What do you love to cook/eat that just doesn't taste right without a splash (or a pint) of beer stirred into it?