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Old 11-13-2018, 10:27 PM   #1
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Sauteeing vs. stewing?

I am to generate a bit of discussion on the "theory" of cooking here. What is the difference (in the taste, texture, etc) among the following choices: (the bigger picture here - I am talking about making a tomato based spaghetti sauce)

1. sauteing onions, garlic, mushrooms, green peppers, etc by themselves and then adding them to a meat sauce
2. sauteing onions, garlic and/or mushrooms, green peppers, etc with the meat and then adding them to the sauce

3. browning the meat and then adding the onions, garlic, mushrooms, green peppers, etc to the sauce with the meat and letting it simmer.

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Old 11-13-2018, 11:01 PM   #2
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Brown the meat and remove it from the pan. Sauté the vegetables in the meat fat, adding a little salt; add olive oil if necessary. Deglaze with red wine and let it reduce by half. Return the meat to the pan and add the tomatoes/tomato sauce, along with seasonings (herbs, spices, Parmesan cheese rind, etc.),. Simmer for about an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Browning food in fat creates new flavors. Some flavors dissolve in fat, some in alcohol and some in water. So using all of these elements maximizes flavor.
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Brown the meat and remove it from the pan. Sauté the vegetables in the meat fat, adding a little salt; add olive oil if necessary. Deglaze with red wine and let it reduce by half. Return the meat to the pan and add the tomatoes/tomato sauce, along with seasonings (herbs, spices, Parmesan cheese rind, etc.),. Simmer for about an hour. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Browning food in fat creates new flavors. Some flavors dissolve in fat, some in alcohol and some in water. So using all of these elements maximizes flavor.
Bingo.
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:30 PM   #4
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I'm pretty much with GG on this. You will get the best results if you brown the meat and sauté the onions and stuff separately. Using some fat from the meat is good, but if the meat is lean, you will need to add some oil to the pan before your veggies.

Like GG mentioned, that brown stuff on the pan (fond) from browning the meat is good for flavor. If you don't want to "deglaze" with wine, you can use a little splash of water -- it will steam the "fond" off of the pan (that's all de-glazing is).

So, yeah, brown your meat first. Put it aside and sauté your veggies in the same pan, and then combine the meat, veggies and tomato sauce. The last step is seasoning to your preference.

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Old 11-13-2018, 11:30 PM   #5
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Browning food in fat creates new flavors. Some flavors dissolve in fat, some in alcohol and some in water. So using all of these elements maximizes flavor.

I never knew this...it sounds like it is a little bit like vitamins...some are fat soluble, some re water soluble...
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:06 AM   #6
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+3 to what others have said. Browning the meat and sautéing the veggies in the lovely animal fat comes first, then add your tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for a few hours. You'll end up with a really flavorful sauce. Freezes well, too!
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:57 AM   #7
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I'm following this thread as I've never made spaghetti and meat sauce. I've always meant to attempt it. Nothing fancy, just basic hamburger based spaghetti sauce, like basic meat loaf. I could freeze up sections for later if I succeed. I'm sure it would be better than frozen "Stouffer's Spaghetti with Meat Sauce" that I've bought previously.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:19 AM   #8
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GG hit the nail on the head !!

Although I believe that alcohol dissolves both water and oil soluable flavor componens
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:15 AM   #9
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GG hit the nail on the head !!

Although I believe that alcohol dissolves both water and oil soluable flavor componens
You're right, it does. Here's an interesting article from the food scientist Shirley Corriher, who used to appear in Alton Brown's Good Eats.

"Alcohol, be it in wine, beer, or hard liquor like vodka, is a powerful flavor extractor, too. It dissolves not only water-soluble flavors and fat-soluble flavors but also flavor components that neither water nor fat can dissolve. For example, we use alcohol to extract flavor from vanilla beans, and the reward is vanilla extract."

https://www.finecooking.com/article/...ne-and-alcohol
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:11 PM   #10
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Outside Italy, the home - obviously - of Itialian sauces, you need to do some research. I would suggest that you do that you do that. I say because otherwise you will end up with may, and I reiterate MAY, end up with something which does'nt represent any a proper Italian dish.

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