Potroast -- Braise with Beer vs. Wine
Have been informed that a guest can't tolerate wine, even in a sauce or a braise. I was planning on a thick chuck roast, seared and braised in lots of garlic, mire poix, and broth. I usually add a healthy cup or so of red wine to the liquid. So I have two alternatives, both interesting. One would be to simply replace the wine with beer, so there is some alcohol to dissolve certain flavors. Another alternative would be to start the braise with just the veggies and broth and after an hour or so, cut off a healthy segment and place in a 1-1/2 quart le creuset covered pot with some beer and cook the remainder in the larger vessel with the wine so that guest will have his tastes met and we could make a comparison.
If you braise it with a bottle of dark beer, you will get a rich gravy. Everybody will probably like it and you can serve the wine in glasses for those who do indulge in wine.
IMHO, it's always more comfortable for a guest with sensitivities if there isn't a "special" dish just for them. And beer makes a fine braising liquid. I'd recommend avoiding anything that's too heavily hopped, though. A porter would do nicely...
Just had a delicious pot roast last weekend at a friend's house and she braised it in beer. I personally don't care much for wine with a pot roast, though I know many do. I think beer just goes better. Guiness is nice.
If you adequately season the dish with salt and pepper, you don't need either beer or wine to make a flavorful pot roast. Still, there are alternative flavor enhancers. For example a modest amount of wine (or balsamic) vinegar. Or the mild acidity of tomatoes (or even ketchup). Raisins or other dried fruit can balance the acidity of these items.