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Need Help w/ Boeuf Bourgignon ASAP

I made boeuf bourgignon but it tastes bitter due to the wine (I will reduce my wine even more next time).

I am supposed to bring this over to friends for dinner is there a quick fix to remove the bitterness?

Thank you in advance

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  1. Hard to say, as it depends on what sort of bitter you are percieving, but on the chance that it is an acid one from the wine, try a bit of baking soda disolved in water. a TB at a time, stir, rest a minute and re test, see if it helps.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      why would this work exactly? I would be really concerned about the soda adding an unpleasant element all on its own.

      1. re: rabaja

        Well, in simple chemistry terms the baking soda neutralizes the acidity, and bitterness of the wine. And adding a TB or two of baking soda to a POT of stew is pretty minimal. And do not I said baking soda a pretty neutral taste in itself, not baking powder!

        You would be surprised how well this works in acid based taste issues, a acid/bitter tomato sauce, etc.

        1. re: Quine

          Adding 1 or two TBS of baking soda adds so much sodium to the dish, the equivalent of the same amount of salt, that it would be inedible, and extremely unhealthy. Sodium content of Baking Soda (bicarbonate of Soda) is 1 teaspoon = 1000 - 1370 mg. One TBS= 3000-4000 mg of sodium.

          The OP's suggestions about adding a Beurre Maniee and/or sugar or honey might help. If possible, drain the meat and vegetables and set aside. Reduce the sauce to evaporate whatever alcohol is left, add your beurre maniee and a bit of sugar, and add back the meat and vegetables.

          1. re: Fleur

            By your measure, no one ever should use baking soda. I suggest you read some recipes, and research uses before making claims of inedible and extremely unhealthy.

            1. re: Quine

              Baking Soda has its uses, especially in baking where 1-2 teaspoons in a recipe for 8 or 10 does not usually pose a problem.

              Adding two tablespoons (6 teaspoons) adds almost 8000 mgs of Sodium to a dish for 4-6 people.In addition to the salt that is added for taste. That is a pretty unhealthy load of sodium for one dish.

    2. I had the same problem when I made boeuf bourgignon the first time. Almost all wine-braised dishes that I have made have this "bitterness" problem (I use very high quality wine to cook with so quality is not the issue at hand). Either add more beef broth and reduce -OR- serve with really good bread or mashed potatoes to drown out the "bitterness." Good luck.

      1. Try thickening the sauce with a beurre manie (Press 1 TB flour into 1 TB butter; add to simmering stew little by little until sauce thickens slightly; if it seems to help do it again) The richness of the butter might help to cut the acidity of the wine)

        4 Replies
        1. re: jbw

          I have already added my beurre manie and although it helped a little the bitterness is still there.

          1. re: iLoveFood

            It may not be the wine. If you don't do the roux very slowly and carefully, it will burn and be bitter. And that I don't think you can fix.

            1. re: Janet

              Boeuf Bourguignonne is never made with a roux. Thickening is done after the dish is fully cooked by adding a Beurre Maniee.

              1. re: Fleur

                Sorry, but it sometimes is. Michael Field's Cooking School cookbook has you brown flour etc. in the fat from the salt pork you have rendered. That is a roux. Then you do the slow cook thing. Other recipes use the same process. And yes, you do thicken more at the end.

        2. My usual recipe for BB calls for a couple of tablespoons of red currant jelly. No doubt a healthy dose of sugar will minimize tartness. If you are in a hustle and have grape jelly rather than currant, I'd try it.

            1. I render bacon and use the fat to brown the meat and veggies. The fat offsets the acidity of the wine very nicely. There's no need to add sugar or any other sweetener, although browned onions are good. IMO adding baking soda is downright weird!

              1. i think the prob is that you didn't cook the alcohol out of the wine (didn't cook it long enough before adding your other ingrdients). the sugar or honey should be a decent short term fix.

                1. Thank you all for your input. I ended up just cooking the sauce down more and in the end everything was fine.

                  It was strange because it has never happened to me before so I had no idea what I did wrong.

                  1. I always render bacon and cook the meat and veggies in it and I did this this time as well.

                    1. Add a whole peeled potato while cooking this will remove all the acidty of the wine. Plus a dash of sugar . Remove potato throw away.

                      1. I'd take a little juice out and add a pinch of sugar and taste.

                        I would NOT try these experiments on the whole pot.