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Old 08-07-2014, 07:42 PM   #11
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The longer it sits, the better it gets....kind of reminds me of a joke...

A woman proudly boasts to her guests "I've been cooking for 20 years"

A guest dryly replies"....well, it should be done by now!"
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:14 PM   #12
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I must be the only one who hasn't heard "the longer it sits..."

I have heard, and my experience confirms, that most stews and chillis and braises improve after a night in the fridge. Longer cooking times aren't necessarily better. It depends what you're doing. You can put big hunks of onion, celery and carrot at the beginning of stock making and cook for several hours and they will have improved the stock but you'll want to throw the solid remains away when you're done. If you want those same veggies to be part of soup, stew or whatever then add them in the last 20, 30, 40 minutes. The meat attached to chicken bones that have been simmering for three or for hours is flavorless mush but it has contributed to the brothiness of the stock. Chicken bones will improve the stock for several hours of simmering. Pork bones for 24 hours or more. Beef bones for a couple days but if you want to use the meat you have to remove it from the bone when the meat is done then put the bones back into the stock.

You seem to be particularly interested in tomato sauces and I'm no expert at those but I do know from experience that beef neck bones, cooked for a couple days, make a terrific stock which you can cool in the fridge overnight, remove the fat, and then add tomatoes to make a heck of a pasta sauce. You sure wouldn't want to cook the maters as long as the bones though.

I probably should have just said that longer ain't necessarily better.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:02 AM   #13
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No!
Stew's & chili are great to serve at once.... but they do develop flavor the next day, as do pasta w/ seafood. Many other dish's too. The key, is to eat them the next day! Don't let fresh food sit too long, never!
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:17 AM   #14
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This has been so interesting reading the responses given. I made a chicken curry tonight and the chicken cook great tonight on a low simmer for three hours. I am just trying to figure out my thresholds on timing. I agree on the overnight fridge time especially with chili. Thank you all for the quick replies!

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Old 08-08-2014, 01:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TexChef View Post
... I made a chicken curry tonight and the chicken cook great tonight on a low simmer for three hours...
If you're going to cook chicken that long it helps if it's dark meat and you keep the temp way down so there is only an occasional bubble. Probably about 180F (like you said, a low simmer) Still I'd be tempted to remove the meat after 30 min. Return the bones to the pot if you want to get every last bit out of them, and put the meat back at the very end just to reheat. Three hours is a mighty long time for chicken meat.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:13 AM   #16
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Sauces like spaghetti sauce and chili definitely benefit from long slow cooking.

I almost never cook and eat a chili or spaghetti sauce (homemade) the same day, I usually cook it the evening before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
Sauces like spaghetti sauce and chili definitely benefit from long slow cooking.

I almost never cook and eat a chili or spaghetti sauce (homemade) the same day, I usually cook it the evening before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Same with lasagna
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:19 AM   #18
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Longer is not always better. True, but for some things longer is better.

"Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time."

That would be really bad advice for many things like a stew or pork butt or ropa vieja.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Longer is not always better. True, but for some things longer is better.

"Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time."

That would be really bad advice for many things like a stew or pork butt or ropa vieja.
Yeah, collagen doesn't break down in the ice box.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Longer is not always better. True, but for some things longer is better.

"Instead of cooking it for 3 hours, let it stand (in reduced liquid) in fridge for same length of time."

That would be really bad advice for many things like a stew or pork butt or ropa vieja.
? Huh? It wasn't meant to apply to anything other than what Adelle Davis was referring to, i.e. bolognese sauce.
(As mentioned in my post #6, page 1)
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