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Old 03-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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Children and cooking with wine

I really, like the beef stew I made. My wife really likes the beef stew I made. She wants me to make some for our 1 year old daughter. The problem is I make it with a cup of red wine. Now I kept telling my wife that the alcohol burns off. But she is still worried about it. So I'm asking all of you. Is it ok to use the same recipe for our daughter? I really am reluctant to make a separate batch with a different recipe that doesn't use it. Any advice or suggestions?

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Old 03-18-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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First of all, the alcohol does not all cook off. If you add it at the beginning of a 1.5 hour long simmer, there will still be 15% remaining. If the wine is 12% alcohol and there was 8 Oz. of wine, that contained about an ounce of alcohol. If 15% of that was remaining, you are talking about 0.15 ounces of alcohol spread out over a few quarts of stew. Given the amount of stew a 1-year old would eat I don't see a problem unless she has an alcohol allergy.

On the other hand, domestic tranquility is a valuable commodity and may be more valuable the stew issue.

Here is a table for future reference:

Cooking Method............................................. Alcohol Remaining
Alcohol added to boiling liquid ......................................... 85%
and removed from the heat

Flamed
75%
Stirred in and baked or simmered for:
15 minutes
40%
30 minutes
35%
45 minutes
30%
1 hour
25%
1 1/2 hours
20%
2 hours
10%
2 1/2 hours
5%
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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I can see the domestic tranquility angle, but if this were Europe, the question would never come up.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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About how much is left if I used a slow cooker and cooked it for 6 hours?
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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What is your wife worried about? A little bit of alcohol won't hurt your daughter - the meal will just give her a taste for food cooked with wine. As qmax said, in Europe, the question wouldn't come up - they're just not as preoccupied with alcohol as we are I blame the Puritans
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qmax View Post
I can see the domestic tranquility angle, but if this were Europe, the question would never come up.
That's the truth. I have traveled in Europe some and witnessed children who were on their way to school eat their breakfast on the train. The children pile on the train, they flop the table top down between them, one breaks out the bread, one breaks out the cheese, and one breaks out the wine.....if they're lucky, one breaks out the meat (what looked like salami). Just very, very different from the US--not knocking the practice, but it's just different.

I wouldn't worry about the little bit of wine left after cooking, but every Mom is different. Lol--some Mom's will pick up that binky (pacifier), wipe it off, and poke it back in. Some will boil/sterilize before that binky goes back in the child's mouth.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinq View Post
About how much is left if I used a slow cooker and cooked it for 6 hours?

Based on the chart I posted earlier, no more than 5%. If you're looking for "zero" for an answer, I can't say. If it's that big an issue, leave out the wine.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marving
Is it ok to use the same recipe for our daughter?
Yes...It'll be Ok.....
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinq View Post
About how much is left if I used a slow cooker and cooked it for 6 hours?
Assuming that the lid on your slow cooker is fairly tight fitting ... probably 50% or more. The alcohol and water both evaporate - hit the lid and condense - and run back into the pot. The chart Andy M. gave is really for cooking "uncovered".

Even uncovered and simmered for hours - it will never reduce below 1%-2% for some reason.

Unless the kid has medical problems, or is on medication ... it's the French Conundrum ....
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qmax View Post
I can see the domestic tranquility angle, but if this were Europe, the question would never come up.
Exactly! and if you are asking the question, then you probably shouldn't serve it to your child.

OTOH, I certainly ate food cooked with wine from a toddler up and am none the worse for wear. and so did all my siblings and cousins. No one even thought about it until about 25 years ago.

The amount of wine in a small serving of beef stew or a soup is negligible considering the remaining ingredients.

The only people I concern myself with when cooking with wine are recovering alcoholics. Then, it must be treated as a serious food allergy and avoided at all costs.
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