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Old 12-06-2013, 06:46 AM   #1
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Why is wine being used in this recipe

I don't want to open a bottle of red wine just for this recipe, and if I do open one then I'll drink it all ;-)

Maybe not a bad idea after all? :-)

Would a stock or a mixture of red wine vinegar, water and sugar best?

Or something else?

Thanks

Michael

Ingredients Nutrition
2 tsp olive oil
1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
750g beef mince
2 x 400g cans Italian diced tomatoes
125ml (1/2 cup) dry red wine
55g (1/4 cup) tomato paste
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, extra, to grease
4 fresh lasagne sheets
55g (1/2 cup) coarsely grated mozzarella
Mixed salad leaves, to serve

cheese sauce
1L (4 cups) milk
1 brown onion, halved, coarsely chopped
8 fresh parsley stalks
8 whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
60g butter
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
70g (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan
Pinch ground nutmeg
Salt & ground white pepper

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:11 AM   #2
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Alcohol releases flavor components that water or oil can't. Particularly with tomatoes. Using it will give you a depth if flavor that you cannot achieve with a nonalcoholic sub.

Wine or other spirits (eg bourbon, dark beer) are used when its flavor will also compliment the dish.

Vodka sauce uses vodka because it is a neutral flavor.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:14 AM   #3
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Do you have access to four-packs of 187ml bottles of wine? I keep one red and one white on hand just to use for cooking.

Some people freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays, then transfer to zipper lock bags, so they're available to throw into a sauce.

I wouldn't try to replace red wine with red wine vinegar; I'd just leave it out. It won't have the same depth of flavor, but it will still be good.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Alcohol releases flavor components that water or oil can't. Particularly with tomatoes. Using it will give you a depth if flavor that you cannot achieve with a nonalcoholic sub.

Wine or other spirits (eg bourbon, dark beer) are used when its flavor will also compliment the dish.

Vodka sauce uses vodka because it is a neutral flavor.
Thanks for that explanation which is something that I have't read before.

Joking aside, I do drink wine, but prefer white because red makes me sleepy very fast.

I've read various things about whether or not the alcohol actually gets burned of or not.

How Much Alcohol Is Burned Off When We Cook? | Misconceptions

What do you think?
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Do you have access to four-packs of 187ml bottles of wine? I keep one red and one white on hand just to use for cooking.

Some people freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays, then transfer to zipper lock bags, so they're available to throw into a sauce.

I wouldn't try to replace red wine with red wine vinegar; I'd just leave it out. It won't have the same depth of flavor, but it will still be good.
Actually I bought a single 250 ml pack at the supermarket and will keep an eye open for the smaller packs.

Even a reasonable (but not very good or great) wine here in Portugal costs around the same price as good vinegar ;-)

And many people clean with red and white wine vinegar!

I freeze milk and meat stock in ice cube trays, so why not wine for cooking?!

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by redmike View Post
And many people clean with red and white wine vinegar!
Really? I would think that would leave things sticky. I use distilled white vinegar for cleaning.

Re: alcohol evaporation in cooking, how much remains depends on how much was used, what kind of alcohol was used, when it was added, and how long the item was cooked after adding the alcohol. Here's a chart: http://homecooking.about.com/library...lalcohol12.htm
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redmike View Post
I don't want to open a bottle of red wine just for this recipe, and if I do open one then I'll drink it all ;-)

Maybe not a bad idea after all? :-)

Would a stock or a mixture of red wine vinegar, water and sugar best?

Or something else?

Thanks

Michael
It's all about the flavor. I use wine in some recipes which don't call for it and it makes them better. I have the leftovers from a pot of beef stew that I made on Tuesday, and the 1/2 bottle of red wine gives it great flavor and a deep rich color. The flavors are so much richer than when I used to make it without the wine. It's not a wine flavor so much as it just enhances all of the other flavors. I wouldn't think of going without it any more. If I have a choice between two good sounding recipes, but one uses wine and the second one doesn't, I take the first one every time.

I'm also a big fan of drinking a glass of red wine while I cook, or if that's too early in the day, I have it with the meal. With my wife and me, a bottle of red doesn't last that long once it's opened. I always cook with wine that I like to drink.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Really? I would think that would leave things sticky. I use distilled white vinegar for cleaning.

Re: alcohol evaporation in cooking, how much remains depends on how much was used, what kind of alcohol was used, when it was added, and how long the item was cooked after adding the alcohol. Here's a chart: Alcohol Burn-off Chart
Thanks for the chart.

I bought a big bottle of vinegar, 1.5 L for .50 euros called "Lava Tudo" and it says to dilute it 60 ml to 5 liters of water.

It seems fine and I generally only use it for cutting boards after poultry.

I haven't tried cleaning with wine vinegar because it just seemed like sacrilege to me :-)
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
It's all about the flavor. I use wine in some recipes which don't call for it and it makes them better. I have the leftovers from a pot of beef stew that I made on Tuesday, and the 1/2 bottle of red wine gives it great flavor and a deep rich color. The flavors are so much richer than when I used to make it without the wine. It's not a wine flavor so much as it just enhances all of the other flavors. I wouldn't think of going without it any more. If I have a choice between two good sounding recipes, but one uses wine and the second one doesn't, I take the first one every time.

I'm also a big fan of drinking a glass of red wine while I cook, or if that's too early in the day, I have it with the meal. With my wife and me, a bottle of red doesn't last that long once it's opened. I always cook with wine that I like to drink.
Thanks for the tips and Saúde!

Michael
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #10
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I never used to use wine in cooking but recently I added some to chicken cacciatore and WOW! It made such a big difference!
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