Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cooking with Beer - Beer Brined Green Tomatoes


A friend was cleaning out their garden before the first frost and gave me a big pile of green cherry tomatoes.

I thought pickling them would be a great way to preserve them. I thought pickling them in beer was an even better idea. So, that's what I did.

Cuz everything is better with beer. Right?

This is a recipe for hot water bath canned pickled tomatoes. Alternately, you can stick them in the fridge after adding the brine to avoid the whole canning process but they won't keep as long. Let them sit for a couple weeks before diving in.

For the best results, make sure you start with fresh, blemish free fruit.

Make sure you sanitize your jars and lids to prevent contamination which will ruin all your hard work.  The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Or submerge the jars in a large pot (the canner itself) of water and bring it to a boil. Put the lids into the small pot of boiling water for at least several minutes. 




Beer Brined Green Tomatoes

For every quart jar, you will need approximately 1 1/2 pounds of green cherry tomatoes.

1 Cup White Distilled Vinegar 
1 Cup Pale Ale
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Dill Seeds
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leaf
4 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
1 Teaspoon Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp  Red Pepper Flakes





In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, beer, and kosher salt to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Keep an eye on it because the beer will foam up and over flow if you're not careful.

Wash the cherry tomatoes well in cold water. Slice them in half.

Put the spices into a hot, clean jar. Use the measurements above for each quart jar or divide them equally into two pint jars. 

Pack the jar tightly with the tomato halves.

Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes, covering them completely and leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Poke a chopstick into the jar and move it around to release any trapped air bubbles.

Wipe the rim clean, seal with a lid and band. Tighten the band finger tight. DO NOT over tighten.  





Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes for quarts / 10 minutes for pints. (adjust time for altitude as needed).

Remove the jars from the hot water bath and allow to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours. 

Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it.

Now, store them in a cool, dark place and use them as needed.

The beer brined green tomatoes will be perfectly pickled in about three weeks. 

Use as a sandwich topper or in recipes calling for relish. Or garnish your martini for a unique flavor.

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