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Old 06-20-2013, 11:44 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Given the amount of wine used in most (I say "most") recipes the fraction of alcohol left after cooking off is miniscule not "significant"
As you can see by the chart, the percentage of alcohol left after cooking can be more than 50%.

That isn't minuscule.

Your post said that cooking renders alcohol insignificant. Which, as a blanket statement, isn't true.

It depends on the method and cooking time.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Given the amount of wine used in most (I say "most") recipes the fraction of alcohol left after cooking off is miniscule not "significant"
I agree for the most part. Not to belabor the point, but let's take a look at one recipe in particular that contains a lot of wine: Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon. The recipe calls for an entire bottle of red wine (along with roughly an equal amount of stock).

Let's assume the wine used is 13% alcohol. Looking at Andy's chart above, if the dish is cooked for the 2 to 3 hours specified in the recipe, there will be less than 5 ml alcohol in the entire finished product, and about 1/5 tsp per serving. I don't consider that enough alcohol to cause anyone problems, but it is significant.

However, as you point out, most recipes call for much less than a full bottle of wine. One quick marinara recipe I make calls for 1/4 cup of wine in 4 cups of sauce. It cooks for about 20-25 minutes. If Andy's chart is correct, then there is about 2 ml alcohol remaining in 8 servings of sauce, or 1/20th of a teaspoon per serving. That's a pretty tiny amount.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #23
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Steve, I've done these calculations myself. the only practical reason this information is important is if a diner has religious or cultural prohibitions, is allergic to alcohol or a recovering alcoholic. I would agree even a healthy young child would not be "affected" by the alcohol remaining.

"All the alcohol burns off during cooking" is one of those misleading statements folks sometimes toss around. I like to have accurate information for those who have a dog in the hunt.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
As you can see by the chart, the percentage of alcohol left after cooking can be more than 50%.

That isn't minuscule.

Your post said that cooking renders alcohol insignificant. Which, as a blanket statement, isn't true.

It depends on the method and cooking time.
I did say in "most" recipes. A boeuf bourgignonne with a whole bottle of wine in it might be a different matter but a glass of wine in a casserole for 6 people is hardly going to make anyone drunk.

Having said that I don't put a whole bottle of wine in a BB. I follow Elizabeth David's recipe - she held that enough wine is enough and more isn't going to improve the finished dish. With practice I tend to agree with her.

You do have to go home in a taxi if you sample my "proper" Edwardian-style trifle, though ;-)
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