Have you ever cooked sherry recipes? A sherry recipe can be sweet, e.g. used in cakes or sweet sauces, or savoury, such as sauces and marinades.
Generally speaking though, sherry is added into sauces for savoury dishes. The most common way to enjoy a sherry sauce is with steak or in an Asian recipe where the sherry binds all the ingredients together. I admit, I keep a bottle of sherry around in the kitchen for such occasions.
Make sure you too try cooking with this delightful alcohol. Better yet, while you cook or prepare your recipe, you can pour a bit of sherry and sip away.
What is sherry?
Sherry is a Spanish fortified wine made out of white grapes. This means, that the base sherry wine is fortified with a grape spirit. The grapes are cultivated and harvested in Andalusia, in the city of Jerez de la Frontera, in the most southern part of Spain.
Sherry is quite a strong wine, ranging from 15 - 22% in alcohol. In fact, there are multiple types of sherries. Depending on the type, the level of sugar and alcohol can vary. This also impacts the flavour as well as the colour of the sherry.
where can you buy sherry?
Sherry comes from the Spanish term 'xerez', which refers to the city of Jerez. In the past, sherry was often referred to as "sack", coming from the Spanish term "saca", which translated to 'extraction'.
There is only one type of sherry you should definitely try - and that is Spanish cherry! Any type of alcohol that is labelled as sherry must come according to Spanish and E.U. law from the specific sherry region. More specifically, sherry should come from a region that's called 'the Sherry Triangle' in the province of Cadiz in the southwestern part of Spain. Hence, as you can imagine, sherry has the protected designation of origin status.
Naturally, the best place to purchase sherry is from the 'Sherry Triangle' in Spain. In addition, sherry is widely available throughout Spain as well as Europe. Therefore, sometimes you can purchase it in the alcohol section of the supermarkets. Otherwise, you can go to alcohol specialty store, where you are sure to find a wonderful bottle of sherry.
types of sherry
There are different types of this Spanish wine but they are categorised as either dry sherry or sweet sherry. Both are unique in their own way.
They vary on the level of sugar, alcohol as well as age. Just take a look at this below:
- Fino - very dry and pale in colour (15-17% of alcohol, 0-5 grams of sugar per liter)
- Manzilla - lighter variety of Fino (15-17% of alcohol, 0-5 grams of sugar per liter)
- Manzilla Pasada - aged with a nuttier flavour (15-17% of alcohol, 0-5 grams of sugar per liter)
- Amontillado - darker sherry than Fino with natural dry taste (16-17% of alcohol, 0-5 grams of sugar per liter)
- Oloroso - darker and richer with longer age (17-22% of alcohol, 0-5 grams of sugar per liter)
- Cream - similar to Amontillado, dry, darker and sweeter (15.5-22% of alcohol, 115-145 grams of sugar per liter)
- Palo Cortado - aged like Amontillado for 3-4 years, but tastes like Oloroso (17-22% of alcohol, 0-5 grams of sugar per liter)
- Jerez Dulce - intense, sweet and dark (15-22% of alcohol, 160+ grams of sugar per liter)
- Pedro Ximenez or PX - intense, sweet and dark (15-22% of alcohol, 212+grams of sugar per liter)
These are just the main classifications.
Keep in mind that you should never use dry sherry when a recipe calls for a sweet sherry, and vice versa. Always use either sweet or dry, whichever your sherry recipe calls for.
Don't forget to purchase special sherry glasses. It won't taste as good in other types of glasses.
vegetarian recipes with sherry cooking wine
Sometimes, sherry can be used for sweet dishes like this sweet pudding. Of course, you can also consider the below-mentioned recipes and take out the meat element to turn it vegetarian.
For sweet sherry recipes you should consider: Cream sherry, Dulce sherry or Pedro Ximemez. In fact, the Pedro Ximenez sherry is so intense, you can also pour it over a delicious ice cream recipe like this one.
sherry recipes using chicken
Try these recipes which combine sherry and chicken:
Don't these chicken sherry recipes look tempting? Any type of sherry for these sherry recipes will do.
recipes with sherry and pork
Sherry also works excellently with pork recipes like these:
The combination of sherry and pork is made in heaven. The meat works exceptionally well with dry and nutty sherry. Oloroso should work well.
sherry recipes with other types of meat
Of course, you can always go for lamb or beef as well. Try these for example:
I recommend using darker sherries with red meat. Try the Cream or Dulce sherry.
sherry recipes with fish
Stick to light and dry sherry when combining it with a fish recipe. I recommend using the Fino sherry or Manzanilla.
sherry wine sauce for pasta
Sherry works very well in a creamy mushroom sauce for pasta. Here, I recommend using either a dry and semi-aged sherry or an aged sherry like Amontillado.
how to store sherry
Once you open a sherry bottle, generally speaking you should drink it within 2-4 days, depending on if you refrigerate it. Sweet and darker sherries can keep longer because of the amount of sugar they contain. If you open a bottle of the latter, consume it within two weeks. Just don't forget to keep it chilled.
You can also use these really handy wine stoppers for storing sherry bottles. Super practical and you can use it for other types of beverages.
related products to sherry
If you are ever in need of sherry for any of your sherry recipes, but realised that you don't have a bottle, here are a couple of alternatives you can consider.
Port is sweeter and a good alternative for recipes that call for dark or sweet sherry, such as Cream or Dulce.
Madeira wine or these Madeira wine substitutes
Make sure to check out these 5 Madeira substitutes as well for your sherry recipes.
Marsala wine can be a good substitute for sherry, both dry and sweet.
Sherry vinegar is a great addition into salads, soups and other savoury sherry recipes.
So, which bottle of sherry appeals to you most? Would you go for the sweeter sherry or dry sherry? Do let me know if you also have a favourite sherry recipe in mind. Leave a comment below!