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Old 12-30-2011, 08:57 PM   #1
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Beef Stew Too Winey

I found a nice recipe for beef stew using a cup red wine on the net.
Although delicious, it tasted and smelled strong of the wine. What technique should I use to make less winey beef stew? Is there a recipe available that uses red wine and kills off that strong taste and smell?

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Old 12-30-2011, 09:51 PM   #2
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Red wine is often paired with beef because beef has a strong taste, and red wine has a strong taste. It's the same thing as pairing red wines with beef and white wines with chicken or fish.

You could reduce the amount of red wine, or use white wine, or use no wine at all. In the latter case you could use stock, perhaps beef stock or vegetable stock, to replace the liquid in the recipe.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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I had a kid with the same problem.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Red wine is often paired with beef because beef has a strong taste, and red wine has a strong taste. It's the same thing as pairing red wines with beef and white wines with chicken or fish.

You could reduce the amount of red wine, or use white wine, or use no wine at all. In the latter case you could use stock, perhaps beef stock or vegetable stock, to replace the liquid in the recipe.
For those who don't care to use alcohol, there is always the option of omitting it and replacing it with stock or water. I would opt for the stock.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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To me, the solution is often using less wine, but using a fortified wine. Sweet or dry vermouth, marsala, sherry. They taste less harsh in recipes.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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To me, the solution is often using less wine, but using a fortified wine. Sweet or dry vermouth, Marsala, sherry. They taste less harsh in recipes.
In spite of what most people believe, the alcohol does not completely evaporate when cooked. Most of it does, but there is always a small bit left behind. And I find the taste of alcohol is what turns me off in putting it in my food.

I was in a restaurant and ordered shrimp scampi. Either the chef dumped the alcohol into the dish as the waiteperson was picking it up or he put a ton of it in at the last moment and didn't cook it off. Also the shrimp were tough. I couldn't get my fork into them. That happens as you know when you cook the shrimp too long. It was inedible. When the waitperson told the chef that I found the food inedible, the whole kitchen came out and stared at our table, There was three of us eating. The other two found their food great. They took my dinner off the bill plus they didn't charge for the tiramisu that the other two folks ordered. I left the restaurant hungry. I don't drink so I can taste that little bit of alcohol left behind and am very sensitive to it in my food. In this dish, it hadn't been cooked off at all.

There must be something to cooking with alcohol. There are enough recipes that call for it. I often order Italian dishes that have a Marinara Sauce. And I know that any chef worth his money puts wine in it. And I don't taste like I did with the Scampi. I have had shrimp scampi many times. It never tasted as bad as that dish.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:59 AM   #7
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Maybe the wine you used wasn't of a good quality? The old adage is that you should cook with a wine that you enjoy drinking ... and that's what I do. I have a feeling if you used "cooking wine" bought at a grocery store you would be disappointed with the results more so than if you used a quality wine.

I use alcohol frequently in my cooking and have really come to appreciate what a little bit'o'booze can do to a dish. Some dishes I won't even make if I don't have the proper alcohol ~ risotto and white wine, cranberry sauce with a splash or three of Gran Marnier, Beef Stroganoff with cognac, etc. I've even put sherry in with roasted potatoes (yummm)!
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:19 AM   #8
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I occasionally make a dish which requires Sherry, but that's the only exception to my rule of not cooking with wine. I really just don't like the flavor.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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I used to cook stews and gravies with red wine and never liked the taste. I thought it was something I was doing wrong until I just concluded that I just don't like the combination of wine and beef in a gravy. I love wine and I love beef, but not combined togeter.
I would much rather use beer with beef now ala Carbonade. Try it. It matched up much better IMHO.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Zereh View Post
I use alcohol frequently in my cooking and have really come to appreciate what a little bit'o'booze can do to a dish. Some dishes I won't even make if I don't have the proper alcohol ~ risotto and white wine, cranberry sauce with a splash or three of Gran Marnier, Beef Stroganoff with cognac, etc. I've even put sherry in with roasted potatoes (yummm)!
I agree, which is why I wanted the beef stew with red wine. I cooked an excellent beef stew a few years ago and it was the best I've ever made. It did not have a winey taste at all.

On review, I now remember that I deglazed with the wine, which cooked off most of the alcohol. As it turns out, the new recipe does not call for this technique and rather instructs you to add the wine with most of the other incredients. Here is the link to the recipe: Beef and Red Wine Stew - Beef Stew Recipe With Red Wine
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