Apple Cider-Beer Glaze: My Multi-Purpose Glaze for Thanksgiving

apple cider recipe apple cider glaze
Have you ever wanted to put all that is good about the autumn: the flavors, aromas, etc., in a bottle? Make a batch of this flavorful glaze and, right away, you got yourself autumn in a jar. Sweet, tangy, buttery with just a hint of malts and hops, this glaze goes well with just about everything.

You all have met my all-purpose stir-fry sauce, Bruno; I’d like to introduce to you his all-purpose little brother.

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All you have to do is boil 24 ounce apple cider, 12 ounce dark beer (stout or porter), 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is reduced down to about 3/4 cup, thick, and syrupy.* (Watch the pan and monitor the heat a bit more closely towards the end as the sauce becomes sticky and prone to burning.) Once that happens, remove the pan from heat and stir in 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter.

If not used right away, the glaze can be stored in a clean glass jar, covered, and refrigerated for a month. It will become very thick upon refrigeration. To get the refrigerated glaze back to its original consistency, just scoop some out and slightly thin it out with warm water.

glazed sweet potatoes

Sweet potato spears

This is my go-to, all-purpose glaze which has saved my behind on 3-4 occasions that I can think of. Burn a side dish before the guests arrive? More guests show up than expected? Fear not. Cut up some root vegetables, brush them generously with this glaze, and roast them until they’re tender and slightly charred on the outside.

My favorite way to use this glaze? I brush it on a piece of tender and succulent pork belly which have been braised in soy-flavored liquid, spiked with five-spice powder. The apple cider-beer-glazed pork is then popped in a very hot oven (475°-500° F) — ever so briefly — just until its skin is blistered and shatteringly crispy.

I also brush it on sweet potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, pork loin, Cornish game hens, quails, etc.

There’s no need to put any herbs or spices in the glaze as this allows for greater versatility. Cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves may work well for certain things while ruining others. This is why I don’t include any spices or herbs in the glaze. If you’d like additional flavoring or perfuming agents in this glaze, add them at the time when you’re just about to use it as that is when you have an idea of what food item you’re pairing it with. That way, you can make sure that the flavors don’t clash.

glazed sweet potatoes

Glazed roasted sweet potato spears

Lastly, to lengthen the shelf life of this glaze, don’t brush it on raw meat then dip the same brush back into the jar. It’s best to measure out just enough glaze for each use and go back for more if necessary, using a clean spoon each time.

*The amount of reduction time depends on the width and depth of your cooking vessel; the wider and the shallower, the more surface area and the shorter time it takes to evaporate liquid.

13 Responses to Apple Cider-Beer Glaze: My Multi-Purpose Glaze for Thanksgiving

  1. doggybloggy November 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    what a great sounding glaze – I think I am going have make this! Thanks.

  2. The Duo Dishes November 19, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    Perfect, perfect, perfect. The first thing that comes to mind is a huge ham brushed down with this glaze. Saving this!

  3. Karen from Globetrotter Diaries November 19, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    I love that you name your sauces! Sounds delicious, may have to use it this next week…

  4. mazm November 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    what can I use in place of dark beer or stout (non-alcoholic version?)

  5. Leela November 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    mazm – If the concern is on the alcohol content, I doubt there’s any left after the liquid has been reduced to a syrup, then cooked again as a glaze. The point of the beer is in the way it adds to the complexity of the flavor which you will never get from apple cider alone. The finished product doesn’t taste at all like beer, and I doubt it will cause even small children to be intoxicated.

    My first reaction is to tell you to use non-alcoholic beer. But since I have never tasted it (I don’t drink real beer either!), I have no clue what that will produce.

    You could replace the beer with additional apple cider, but that would it an apple cider-brown sugar glaze which could be delicious, but would nonetheless be an entirely different glaze.

    Anyone have suggestions?

  6. Chef Fresco November 20, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    Those sweet potato spears look yummy! I like the glaze too. =)

  7. Heidi Robb November 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    This glaze will become a saving grace in my fall kitchen – fantastic!

  8. OysterCulture November 23, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    I’ve made one similar to this with apple cider + apple cider vinegar. I was going to suggest hard cider, but that does not eleviate the alcohol issue. Tough dilemma to keep trying an incredibly recipe and tweaking it. =)

  9. miss maple November 30, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    Excellent! I can’t wait to try this! I may substitute maple sugar for the dark brown sugar, though. 🙂

  10. Deb December 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    This comes up under gluten free. You know beer has gluten in it, yes? And GF beer tends to be a bit grainy and there are no dark ones that I have ever run across.

    • Leela December 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      Hmm. The post isn’t tagged gluten-free, though. Not sure why it would come up that way. I’ll fix that when I figure out what the problem is. Thanks Deb.

  11. Alyshia June 22, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    This is a fantastic glaze, I do my glaze slightly different. I use a German style spiced beer, and I substitute the sugar from agave nectar and i leave out the salt. I also use fresh apple cider but if i cant get that i use apple juice concentrate. I hope these you enjoy these suggestions and try them.


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