And the sailors say, "Brandy, you're a fine girl..."
October 26, 2013 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend ways for me to use up this brandy?

We have about a bottle and a half of brandy here. Not even sure when and why we got it. But neither my wife nor I particularly like brandy, so I'd like to use it up by cooking and/or baking with it. Can you recommend any good brandy-based recipes?

I've done a little googling, to little avail; though I did find a suggestion to use brandy to deglaze pans after cooking meats, and thence as a basis for a sauce, which sounds like a very good idea. I'd love to get some ideas for main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and even cocktails, I suppose, that make good use of brandy.

Once it's gone, I can fill its decanter with beverages we like better, like tequila!
posted by Dr. Wu to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Brandied fruit! Brandy, fruit, sugar. Let it sit for a few months, then serve over ice cream, cake, etc.
posted by ssg at 10:19 AM on October 26, 2013

A good brandy cocktail is a Sidecar: 1 1/2 oz brandy, 1 oz triple sec, 1/2 oz lemon juice (unsweetened, not bar lemon). A lot of whiskey cocktails can also use brandy (e.g. a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned).
posted by irrelephant at 10:25 AM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

Cut up fresh peaches and put in a crock pot. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup brandy, 5 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 stick butter, and ground cinnamon to taste. Cook on low for 3 hours. Serve warm over ice cream or hot cereal. Or eat by itself.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

The peaches recipe above is more coherent than the one I was going to post so I will just add that it works really well with apricots as well.
posted by elizardbits at 10:33 AM on October 26, 2013

Typically you use brandy to set a Christmas pudding on fire. No reason you couldn't have some other flaming dessert.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:34 AM on October 26, 2013

Hot cocoa always seem hotter and more cocoay with brandy.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:38 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't like brandy particularly, but I love this:

Brandy Slush

7 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons instant tea
2 cups cold water
1 12 -ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 and 1/2 cups lemon juice
2 and 1/2 cups brandy
Carbonated lemon-lime soda (or club soda)

Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Mix tea in cold water and combine. Add orange juice and lemon juice. Cool. Stir in Brandy. Freeze. Scoop into tall glasses until full. Top with soda and stir gently. Serve.

This is great for parties. My family loves to have it at Thanksgiving.
posted by monopas at 10:46 AM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

Steak au poivre! Liberally pepper a steak and fry it in a cast iron skillet. When it's handsomely seared on both sides and done to your satisfaction, remove it to a plate and cover it with foil to rest while you make the sauce. Deglaze the pan with brandy. Light it on fire if you want. Once it's burned itself out, stir in a generous splash of heavy cream, and keep stirring for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Deglazing the pan with brandy and then adding some chopped mushrooms and letting them cook down in the beefy booze is also excellent.

You can use it to flavour baking, too (don't worry, the brandy flavour will not overwhelm you). This week I made cookies with half all-purpose and half rye flour, browned butter, dark chocolate chopped coarsely, vanilla, and cognac, and they were phenomenally good.
posted by bewilderbeast at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

cherries jubilee or bananas foster. the secret to getting it to flame properly is you warm it up in a small saucepan before you pour it over the dessert.
posted by bruce at 11:15 AM on October 26, 2013

I use a tablespoon or two in a cup of hot water to soften the raisins before stirring them into banana bread or bread pudding, etc.
posted by CathyG at 11:17 AM on October 26, 2013

This recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon uses brandy.

If you search a site like Epicurious for brandy you will find lots of recipes and other uses. There are options to refine your search by meal, cuisine, main ingredient, etc., etc..
posted by gudrun at 11:31 AM on October 26, 2013

Great to finish off a batch of mulled wine or deglaze a pan for any number of pan sauces.
posted by transient at 12:00 PM on October 26, 2013

Seems like a job for fruitcake to me. A good fruitcake should be drenched in brandy before aging.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:18 PM on October 26, 2013

Seconding Christmas cake. (And if you've not been a fan of fruitcake, use dried fruit, rather than candied. It makes all the difference.) Soak the dried fruit in brandy overnight first, then use whatever amount the recipe calls for, then pour some more over when it's done baking. (If you have Joy of Cooking, I've used the dark fruitcake recipe for years.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:00 PM on October 26, 2013

Bananas Foster! - brandy works just as well as rum.

Hot toddies! Perfect for a chilly evening - pour some brandy in a mug, a squeeze of lemon, and pour hot water over it like tea.
posted by colin_l at 1:32 PM on October 26, 2013

Really good recipes for French onion soup call for it to be finished with sherry, but brandy (if it's regular brandy and not the flavored kind) would be even better. Make the soup, put in a shot of the brandy, boil for a couple minutes, eat some serious deliciousness.

You can also put it in sangria. This was actually how I was taught to make it by real life Spanish people: red wine, fruit, juice, brandy.
posted by syncope at 4:23 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was going to say sangria also... It doesn't use that much brandy (1 cup I think?), but that just means you make sangria more frequently.
posted by maryrussell at 6:56 PM on October 26, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I'm gonna give some of these a try.
posted by Dr. Wu at 7:28 PM on October 26, 2013

A chef friend taught me to make steak au poivre by pressing lots of fresh ground pepper into a good steak, cooking it in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil, and letting it rest. Turn off the heat, deglaze the skillet with brandy, and add a bit of cream.

A bit of brandy is a nice addition to gravy. This recipe for Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce looks great, as does this one for Chicken Normandy. Google recipe pork brandy, recipe beef brandy, etc.

Sangria recipes call for some brandy, and homemade sangria is delicious.
posted by theora55 at 4:58 PM on October 27, 2013

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