Today we are sharing a recipe for beer glazed grilled plantains. It is very easy and the beer infused glaze is bursting with flavor. Plantains are a favorite of ours to pair with craft beer. Years ago I had come across a recipe for spicy and salty plantain chips and I made them almost every weekend for quite a while. After we acquired a cast iron grilling pan (better late than never), grilling the plantains became my favorite way to cook them. I love how they get caramelized on the outside and remain soft inside.
Nicely ripened plantains are key to making this delectable beering snack. I pick the ripest ones at the store and let them sit on the counter for a few days to ripen even more or in a brown paper bag if I need to speed up the process. They quickly get softer and once they turn brown on the outside, I proclaim them ready.
For the glaze, I use butter, honey, cayenne pepper and of course craft beer. This particular time I made the beer glazed grilled plantains with a brown ale we got in our last shipment from our beer club. We paired the bananas with more of the Oaktown Calicraft Oaktown Brown Ale. Even though this beer has a high IBU of 70, it has a strong malty backbone with notes of roasted caramel. It worked out perfectly in the glaze and it is delicious on its own. Perhaps a little thin in terms of mouthfeel, but nevertheless very pleasant to drink.
To make this glaze you can also use a porter, a stout or a bock – they will be a good fit as long as they have not been excessively hopped. Whiskey barrel or rum barrel aged variations of these styles will favorably contribute to the glaze flavors.
Grilling the plantains is easier if they are halved lengthwise, then cut into pieces once cooked. My personal preference however is to grill them in diagonally sliced bite-sized ovals. In this way more of the surface becomes crispy and caramelized, encasing a gooey inside.
I brush them with the glaze after flipping them over once, while they are still being marked on their lower side. I plate them glazed side down, and brush or drizzle the rest of the glaze (the majority of it) on top.
The last step is to pour that glass of beer to pair them with. The plantains taste best if eaten right away. Absolutely crucial for 100% enjoyment.
- 2 large overripe plantains
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- ⅓ cup beer (brown, bock, porter or stout)
- ½ tsp cayenne (use less or completely skip ingredient if desired)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Melt 1 tbsp of the butter and brush a cast iron grilling pan with half of it, reserve the rest.
- Peel plantains and cut into oval pieces (cut on the diagonal).
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the beer to a simmer, add the rest of the butter (2 tbsp), honey and if using the cayenne and vanilla. Stir gently and as a syrupy mixture forms, turn off the heat and remove from stove. Keep warm.
- Meanwhile heat up the grilling pan over medium heat.
- Arrange plantain pieces across the surface and brush with the rest of the melted butter.
- Let grill for 2 mins and flip over.
- Brush already grilled top side with some of the beer glaze.
- After lower side has finished cooking (2 mins), turn off heat, remove plantains from grilling pan and place on a plate, glazed side down.
- Drizzle or brush the rest of the glaze and serve immediately.
- Pair with the beer style used in the glaze.