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Old 05-28-2005, 06:09 PM   #21
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Two things I noticed missing from the recipe are onions and carrots. Onions have some sugar in them - and carrots have more natural sugar than any other vegetable except "sugar beets". Sugar will not neutralize the acid in the tomatoes - but it will help neutralize the acidic "taste".

Fresh herbs should only be added during the last 5 minutes of cooking - to reinforce the flavor of dried herbs used at the beginning of the cooking - and add another "layer" of herb flavor. Cooked too long - fresh herbs can get bitter.

I NEVER use garlic salt (I don't allow it in my kitchen) - and very seldom have an occasion to use garlic powder. Both can be bitter ... especially if they are old. Remember - garlic has oil in it - oils oxidize and go rancid.

Burning the tomato paste is a possibility ....

Leaving out the wine wouldn't make it bitter ...

It sounds like you're making a take-off on a basic Bolognese sauce. That shouldn't need to simmer more than about 30 minutes since you're using ground beef. If you are simmer with the lid on - it's going to take a LOT longer to reduce than without a lid - and increase the chances of scorching and burning.

Sounds like you changed several things in your tried-and-true recipe ... hard to pinpoint exactly which change was the problem. I'm just throwing out some things to consider.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:24 PM   #22
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Location: Boston and Cape Cod
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Originally Posted by luvs_food
i read up on it, bucky, and it's definately a factor in bitterness. i didn't notice TILL i read about it, but they were so very correct about that. if you throw in too many bay leaves, it can ruin your dish. i use them very judiciously now.

There are also two types of bay leaves -- Turkish and California.

Turkish are milder and sweeter and are preferred for culinary uses.

California bay leaves are stronger and can be bitter.
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