Red Ale Onion Rings

When it comes to salty fried snacks, onion rings seem to always play second fiddle to the french fries. But there's something so old-school Americana about a perfectly battered onion ring that I can rarely pass up. The toasted caramel notes from the red ale really make this batter special. Try these rings with my Jerk Ketchup, and they might just become your favorite snack.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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About 4 cups (1 liter) canola oil, for deep-frying

2 large Vidalia onions

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (8 fluid ounces/240 milliliters) red ale

Coarse sea salt

Jerk Ketchup, for serving, recipe follows

Jerk Ketchup:

1 cup (240 milliliters) ketchup

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Pour 4 inches (10 centimeters) oil into an 8-quart (8 liter) Dutch oven and bring to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) over medium-high heat.
  2. While the oil comes to temperature, peel the onions and slice into rings 1/2 inch (12 millimeter) thick.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Whisk in the ale until the ingredients are combined. The batter should be thick but slightly loose.
  4. Place a wire rack in a sheet pan. Working in batches, dip the rings into the batter. Drain off any excess batter back into the bowl, then slowly lower the onions into the hot oil. Cook, flipping the onions every 30 seconds, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spider, transfer the onions to the wire rack and lightly season with sea salt.

Jerk Ketchup:

Yield: About 1 1/4 cups (280 milliliters)
  1. In a nonreactive medium bowl, combine the ketchup, lime juice, brown sugar, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, cayenne, pepper flakes, and salt and mix until incorporated. Use immediately or transfer the ketchup to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Cook’s Note

There are a handful of items I always keep on hand in my pantry: my 24/7 Rub, Holy Molasses Barbecue Sauce, and this jerk ketchup. Ketchup has been a favorite condiment of mine for as long as I can remember, but I've always felt it was lacking in the flavor department. And because I love Caribbean flavors so much, I felt it was only fitting that I added them to my ketchup as well. This flavorful condiment is perfect for topping a burger or dipping your fries in--try it and see.

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