the taste space

Crispy Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries

Posted in Favourites, Sides by janet @ the taste space on March 8, 2013

Beer-Soaked Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

If my weakness is beans and greens, Rob’s weakness is beer.

I may hoard and admire my (completely edible) bean collection. Likewise, Rob drinks through his beer collection. I will admit that I know very little about beer, other than I have yet to meet a beer I like. Rob has given up on getting me to sample his beers. I am pretty confident that whatever makes a beer a beer (hops?) is what I don’t like, which cannot be masked by hints of chocolate or lime or whatnot.

When we travelled to Quebec last summer, we made sure we stopped off at a beer store to stock up on beers that are not easily available in Toronto. We found a beer haven closeby, Veux-Tu Une Biere?, that had over 250 different microbrewed beers. Rob picked out beers that tasted like chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and espresso, espresso solo, coriander and orange, lime, pumpkin, juniper berries and orange peel, rye, scotch (yes, scotch beer), cognac (yes, cognac beer) and who knows what else. Without having to worry about customs, we returned with enough beer to last until our move to Houston.

Beer-Soaked Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Rob let me pick him one to try. He has non-mainstream tastes. His favourite beer last year was a Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout. Let’s just say my father and brother didn’t appreciate it as much as him.  So while at the beer store, I tried to get Rob to buy spruce beer. Turns out you can find that one in Toronto and one of our friends thought it tasted like a forest. A no go. I ended up picking one with a demon on the front. I have classy tastes. (It also said it won a beer award). Turns out my choice was a winner (except I can’t remember what it was). Too bad Rob only bought one. He bought two of the other beers. However, not all beers were as fabulous. Which is lucky for me, because normally Rob says his beers are too good for me to use in the kitchen. They say you shouldn’t cook with a wine you won’t drink, but this is what you do with beer you don’t like. Any beer will do because you cannot taste it.

I cook with wine but don’t cook with beer because I am afraid of that “beer” taste lingering. I bookmarked this highly-praised recipe for beer-soaked fries but it wasn’t until Ellen tried it and reassured me: a) the fries were fantastic “Not sure what the beer does for the outside of the fries, but there is some marvelous alchemy going on…”, and b) you could not taste the beer, did we venture to try our hands at beer-soaked fries. Rob picked out one of his not-so-fabulous beers (a lime pale lager) and whipped up these fabulous fries.

I am not joking. These were resto-quality, crispy (baked) fries. We used a mix of white and sweet potato but I was partial to the sweet potato fries. All you do is marinade the fries for 15 minutes in the beer, then toss with garlic, oil, salt and pepper, and wait a painful 30-45 minutes as they bake. Next time, I may throw other spices on it like I have done before.

Apparently you can reheat the leftovers. I will admit, there was nothing left over. Demolished. All of it. Now to find more yucky beers.

Do you cook or bake with beer? Or just drink it?

Savoury beer uses, here and elsewhere:

Dill and Cheddar Beer Bread

Beer-Baked White Beans at The Bitten Word

Beer-Stewed Pinto Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) by Nava Atlas

Beer Hummus at Sprint 2 the Table

Smoky Chipotle Vegetarian (Beer) Chili with Parmesan-Black Pepper Beer Bread at Joanne Eats Well With Others

Belgium Beer-Bathed Seitan Stew from Vegan Eats World or Vegan Planet

Seitan Goulash with Kraut over Parsleyed Noodles from American Vegan Kitchen

Tempeh Sauerkraut Brew Stew from Vegan Appetite

Vegan Chocolate Guinness Cake from Keep It Simple Foods

Beer-Soaked Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

This is my submission and to this month’s Simple and in Season, this month’s No Food Waste Challenge for alcohol and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries
Adapted from Edible Perspective

1 lb sweet potatoes (or mix of white and sweet potato, apparently Russets make crispier beer fries), scrubbed and cut into thin fries (leave skin on)
1 bottle beer (300mL) (any beer will work, we used a lime pale lager)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Place cut fries into a large bowl and cover in beer. Set aside and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

3. Drain beer and toss with garlic, oil, salt and pepper.

4. Place fries in a single layer on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until browned and crispy.

Serves 2, if you are lucky.

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33 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on March 8, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    ah, beer. sweet nectar of the gods. i forgot where i saw this before, but i’ve done it with turnips too and it’s awesome! love your flavorings. i bet the coconut oil was great! wonder if this would work with wine… hmmmm…

  2. Joanne said, on March 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    I don’t like the taste of beer either! Though I do definitely cook/bake with it on occasion. :) I need to try these fries! I have three beers in the fridge that I need to use up and feel like I need a change from beer bread.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 9, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      You will love these, Joanne. I know it! Could you taste the beer in your chili? I know that when I made the beer bread, there was a hint of beer in it.

  3. [...] 2) Crispy Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries [...]

  4. Hannah said, on March 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Ah! I remember meaning to make this when I first saw it on EP. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. Johanna GGG said, on March 10, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    I taught myself to drink beer because it was cheap (I was young and silly) but now I barely touch it – though I quite like it in baking – these days unfortunately I appreciate the labels more than the liquor. I would like to try these but am never confident about cooking with alcohol for kids because I don’t know if all the alcohol cooks away – but they sound intriguingly delicious

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 10, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      That’s a good point, Johanna. I am not sure about the alcohol content after baking. I figure it is nearly all removed after cooking (depending on the length of your simmer). But yeah, Rob doesn’t go for the cheap beers.. there is definitely a classy beer renaissance. :)

  6. Ellen Lederman said, on March 10, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Wow—I’ve been mentioned in your blog! Best “fifteen minutes of fame” I’ve had. I knew you’d love the fries. Wasn’t sure how they would be as sweet potato fries, but will now attempt them.
    We recently made a blogger’s recipe for crispy sweet potato fries. Still not crispy like actual fried potatoes, but delicious nonetheless (used a little oil and cornmeal).

  7. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on March 10, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    I actually just tried a double chocolate cherry stout, I loved it. I think me and Rob have similar tastes!

    I love this use of beer too! There’s something about fries from restaurants that you just can’t replicate at home, or maybe until now that is. Totally trying it!

  8. Jade C said, on March 10, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    So glad you posted this one :D I mentioned the recipe to my Dad, and now he, along with my brother and even my boyfriend, really want them :D on the list for next weekend!! Thanks!!

  9. Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board said, on March 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    I’ve heard great things about the chocolate cranberry stout but haven’t tried it; Muskoka’s one of our favourites though! I’ve also tried the spruce beer that tastes like a Christmas tree – so weird! I’ve never heard of soaking sweet potato fries in beer but it sounds fantastic, will have to give this a try!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Hey Natalie, I think you’ll love the fries if you can part with a beer. ;) Have you tried Great Lakes beer? Rob ADORED this beer (although it was limited addition so I don’t think they have it anymore): http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/9408/86736/?sort=serv&servT=1&start=0

      I think he also really liked the Bare Naked Ladies beer (from the LCBO).

      I am surprised that so many people like his style fo beer (his friends like it too but I haven’t met many others who do). You may also enjoy Cask Days if you care to wander down to Toronto. :)

      • rszumlak said, on March 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Cask Days is really great. If you like interesting, different, and well-crafted beers, it is THE place to go.

  10. Eileen said, on March 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    These fries sound really interesting! We do baked fries pretty frequently, but have never added beer–now I can’t wait to try this method out.

  11. Genevieve said, on March 11, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    I’ve slowly grown to like beer over the last few years, but I haven’t tried baking or cooking with it yet. Beer and fries are a good combination when paired together, so soaking fries in beer sounds like a good idea to me! I’ve heard of soaking potatoes in water first before baking to make crispier fries, so this sounds like a similar concept, but it adds flavour at the same time!

  12. Chez Foti said, on March 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Oh I’m so going to try these, what a wonderful combo. Beer and fries!. Sound delish. And thanks so much to entering this month’s Simple and in Season, Louisa

  13. tinykitchenstories said, on March 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Oh my dear lord. These sound amazing! Beer–who knew? The hard part will be getting The Husband to let go of the beer. But we’re definitely trying these!

  14. Jacqueline said, on March 31, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    I’m going to give these a go. I was pondering what to do with the sweet potatoes sitting in my fridge. Just need to buy a bottle of beer. Oh and the Bookmarked Recipes roundup is up. Thanks for adding your recipes x

  15. [...] intriguing recipe came from Janet at The Taste Space with her incredibly moorish looking Crispy Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries. I must admit I’ve never heard of  soaking chips (white potato or sweet potato) in beer [...]

  16. Kate - Turquoise Lemons said, on June 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I have been a fan of sweet potato fries for a long time and am very excited about trying this version. They look fab and I am of the opinion that adding beer will just make them better. Thank you for entering the No Waste Food Challenge.

  17. […] 2) Crispy Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries […]

  18. […] our own version for awhile, after we discovered how wonderful beer transformed sweet potatoes into crispy fries. With the boon of (vegan) kimchi, it was only a matter of time. Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato […]

  19. […] seems to taste better when someone else makes it for you, but this was pure gastronomical bliss. Beer-Soaked Sweet Potato Fries + BBQ Jackfruit meat + kimchi + baked tofu, a spin-off of one of our favourite dishes in […]

  20. […] For the beer haters in the audience (that’s me!), you cannot taste the bitter hoppiness (thank goodness!) but it adds a different dimension to the beans. If you are a beer hater and unsure what to make with the rest of your can of beer, may I suggest beer-soaked fries? […]

    • Sarita said, on March 4, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Love sweet potato fries, and bet they’d be even better following this recipe to soak them in beer. And black beans, let me count the ways I love black beans. Although ANY beans from Rancho Gordo are my favorites. I bought their 20-lb. deal pack back in November. And get giddy at the thought of which ones I should prepare next!

      • janet @ the taste space said, on March 4, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        You must be my soul mate, oh bean-lover. :) I am so jealous you picked up their 20-lb sampler! :)

  21. […] who wants a dal frites recreation? I am trying to convince Rob to combine our favourite beer-soaked fries with dal […]


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