October is beer month at Gothamist, and our mission is to bring you a new beer-related post every day, until our hangovers become so crippling we wind up forgetting what we promised halfway through the month. Last time we baked with beer so for today's beer-related report, we're diving into savory meals enhanced by a brewski (or four).

Colder weather means filling your belly with warm, comforting foods like this Brisket Braised in Beer, which cooks in the oven for several hours and comes out tender and juicy. This is the perfect dish to make when you want to warm your apartment with the heat from your oven and make your neighbors jealous with the delicious smells wafting from under your door.

    Brisket Braised in Beer
  • 2 1/2 lbs brisket
  • 4 bottles of beer (we used Yuengling but any lager will work)
  • 10 small red and yellow potatoes, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 small apple (Galas are perfect)
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.

    Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil (or enough to cover bottom of the pan) in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Season brisket liberally with salt and pepper. Sear the brisket on both sides, making sure to get nice caramelization.

    Remove brisket and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add sliced onions to the pot, adding more olive oil if needed. Sweat onions slowly until they are soft. Add one bottle of beer, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom, and bring mixture to a boil. Add brisket back into pot, add remaining bottles of beer and bring to a boil. Cover and put in the oven for 2 hours.

    Remove pot from oven and add veggies, garlic and herbs. Put back in the oven for another hour or until veggies are soft and brisket tender.

    Take brisket and veggies out of the pot and set aside (make sure to remove the bay leaves!). Place pot on stove, bring to a boil and then whisk in butter and flour mixture. Let the gravy reduce until it is thick and flavorful then season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour gravy over sliced brisket and veggies and serve!

For the times you don't have three hours to devote to cooking, this simple yet hearty Beer and Cheese Soup will have you slurping away in half an hour.

    Beer and Cheese Soup
  • 12 ounces of beer (Brooklyn Lager or any amber ale would do well)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar is great but fontina or guryere work too)
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft (about 6 minutes) then add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the flour, stirring frequently, and cook for at least 2 minutes.

    Whisk in milk and chicken broth, increase heat to medium-high and then add beer and mustard and bring to a boil, making sure to constantly whisk out any lumps. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is thick and creamy.

    Slowly stir in cheese in small batches. Add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with chopped scallions or bacon bits.

Besides cracking open a beer and chugging it, this recipe for Beer Dip is the fastest way to get that delicious beer flavor into your mouth. The beer thins out the cheeses and adds a nice zing. You can make lots of different variations on this recipe by swapping in different beers, cheeses and seasonings but here is a classic preparation.

    Beer Dip
  • 1/2 cup beer, give or take a few tablespoons (an IPA would stand up to the other bold flavors)
  • 16 ounces of room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet of onion soup mix

  • Combine cream cheese, cheddar and soup mix in a bowl. Slowly stir in beer until the dip reaches desired consistency. Serve with crackers, pretzals or anything crunchy.