About a month ago I saw a recipe by The Edible Perspective for beer soaked fries featured on craftbeer.com and have been dying for the right opportunity to make them ever since. That opportunity finally presented itself over the weekend when I opted to stay in and watch some college football as opposed to going out to the bar. I had a lot of stuff to get done, so going out and spending money on food and beer just felt too guilty when I could be at home being productive. I still wanted beer and good food to be involved with my watching experience and decided it was the perfect time to give the fries a try.
I changed the recipe around a bit to suit my taste, with the biggest change being that I used sweet potatoes over white potatoes. I always opt for sweet potatoes when given the choice for the nutritional advantage. I was worried this choice would result in a much soggier fry, but was prepared for the tradeoff. Thankfully, I was very, very wrong. I soaked the sweet potatoes in Avery’s Ellie’s Brown ale because I had some in my fridge left over from a beer can chicken I made a couple of weeks ago. Any slightly sweet ale would work fine with this recipe, but I always gravitate towards brown ales when using fall produce. There is something magical about the nutty, sweet flavors of the brown ale combined with fall flavors.
The potatoes soaked in the beer for 30 minutes and I was skeptical that it would have any impact on the fries. After soaking, I tossed the potatoes with homegrown thyme and parsley, and then baked for 40 minutes. My skepticism was quickly put to reset when I pulled the fries out of the oven and gave one a taste. They were flavorful, crispy and the best oven baked fries I have ever made.
I served them with 2 sauces: BBQ sauce & a sour cream/mustard/lemon sauce (recipe at the end of the post). I am so glad I decided to stay in and watch the game and include these beer soaked spuds as part of my spread.
Baked Brown Ale Soaked Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients serves 2 – 4
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cans/bottles brown ale
1.5 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
What you need to do
Start by rinsing the sweet potatoes to ensure there is no dirt on them, then place them on a cutting board and turn them into fry shapes. To do this, start by cutting the ends off. Next, cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Place the halves cut side down, and then slice them lengthwise again into strips a little larger then a quarter inch thick. Turn the strips on their sides and cut those lengthwise into strips of fries.
When your fries are cut, put them into a large bowl and cover with your beer of choice. Mine were not completely submerged, so I tossed them a few times throughout their soak. I allowed the fries 30 glorious minutes to bathe in the lovely beer. I would not go any shorter than that on soaking time, but longer certainly wouldn’t hurt.
When your fries are done soaking, drain the beer from the bowl. I just tipped the bowl over, using my hand to prevent the fries from falling out. There was still a small amount of beer remaining in the bottom of the bowl, which I thought would be nice for the fries to bake in. Drizzle the potatoes with 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil, then top with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. Toss to combine. Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Be sure to turn the fries halfway through the baking time. When they are done, sprinkle with a bit more salt, let rest for a few minutes and thoroughly enjoy.
* Recipe adapted from Edible Perspective ‘s beer soaked fries
Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon mustard (I used Firestone Walker Brewery’s DBA Mustard, but your favorite mustard is fine. German style or spicy deli would work great. Just don’t use yellow mustard)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
What you need to do
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, then dip things into it.
About the Beer
Ellie’s brown ale is an amercian style brown ale brewed by Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO. It can be found in canned or bottles year round. It is sweet and slightly nutty with hints of vanilla and nuts. With only 17 IBUs, it has almost no bitter qualities and with an ABV of 5.5%, it is a very smooth, drinkable beer. This brown ale would be a great addition to stews, chilis, or breads in the kitchen. This beer would pair great with any sort of BBQ or dishes that have roasted, complex flavors.