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Old 11-10-2004, 10:50 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by scott123
Browning reactions are associated with higher temperatures as that range is where they occur the quickest/most readily. Given the right conditions/time, they occuring at much lower temperatures, even room temp.

As stock simmers, it takes on color. It's an extremely slow process. During the final reduction stage, as the proteins/sugars become more concentrated, the process accelerates. It never reaches the speed at which color occurs in a roasting environment, but it does produce a darker stock.

Take a pot of strained stock and split it into two pots. Reduce one pot by 3/4, add water back to it's original volume, then visually compare the two pots. The reduced stock will be noticeably darker.

I agree with everything except have a ?? about the bolded sentence. The stock will become darker in color, even at lower teperatures (esp. if pH is lower -- hence the discussion of vinegar). BUT after the proteins and sugars combine, the last phase of the Maillard reaction, the creation of melanoidins which create the roasted taste needs more heat than simmering temp, doesn't it?

Even beer needs to be brought to 250 or so for it to happen, as I understand it.

The Maillard reaction may be responsible for the darker color, but is not concentration and not the MR responsible for the taste? I still think you cannot create the exact same flavors of browned meat through simmering.

Just call me Shirley :D

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Old 11-11-2004, 09:59 PM   #32
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Okay Ms. Corriher :)

Since Harold McGee is doing a Q&A in one of the forums I participate in, I ran the question by him.
Here is his reply:

Yes, we normally think of browning reactions as a high-temp, dry process, but when the amino acids and sugars are sufficiently concentrated—or the cooking time long enough—they occur at sub-boiling temperatures and in liquids. Another example is the wort—the boiled extract of malt and grains—in beer making. And the white of eggs turns tan when simmered very gently for hours (Middle eastern beid hamin) thanks to the protein and a trace of glucose.

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Old 11-13-2004, 12:44 PM   #33
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egullet, i presume?

I had wanted to be in on that one, as I love HM!!

Thanks for the info. I knew aboit the beer, but it generally comes to temp of 250 or so under pressure.

Thanks again!! :D
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:14 AM   #34
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I learned about the vinegar trick back in the 70's, from the books by Adele Davis, the self-made nutirtionist who was famous for the book, "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit". Anyway, it makes chemical sense. I have noticed that if the vinegar is added after hours of simmering the stock will turn cloudy immediately. I am not sure what is happening there, but I suspect that protein denaturation is involved. I think it's most effective to add the vinegar at the start of the simmering, as that will leach the most minerals from the bones.

If the stock still tastes acid at the end of the simmering, it can be boiled vigorously to help drive off the volatile vinegar. I suppose one could also add some sodium bicarb (baking soda) to neutralize the acid, as well. It will turn the vinegar to sodium acetate, which is harmless.


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