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Too much Guinness in my stew

hotsauce28 Jan 27, 2008 01:57 PM

And now it's pretty bitter. Anyone know how i can fix this?

  1. n
    neversremedy Mar 16, 2008 06:13 PM

    I had trouble with it the first year I made this (and I prefer using extra stout, although the milder Guinness also works well for a less bitter taste). Here's the secret: Boil the hell out of it. It's the alcohol that hasn't cooked off that's causing the bitterness. It also is what stinks up the kitchen for a while. Start by getting it to a rolling boil after adding your ingredients (especially the Guinness), and then turn to simmer for about five to six hours. You'll know it's ready because the stink of the ale will suddenly depart from your home, and a mouth-watering scent of something more edible fills the air. As Dennis Leary put it, Irish cuisine is anything "boiled for 17 hours until you can suck it through a straw." A bit of an exaggeration, but not far off.

    1 Reply
    1. re: neversremedy
      Jacq09 Jul 9, 2013 11:12 PM

      Thank you very much! I thought I had spoiled a casserole, I took out the meat and did as suggested. I boiled the gravy until the bitter taste was gone (I also added a bit of tomato ketchup before boiling) ended up with a yummy dinner.

    2. Homero Jan 29, 2008 11:02 AM

      I am just curious, did you use Guinness Extra Stout in the bottle or Guinness Draught in a Can? It is my belief that the two beers taste very different. I can't take the Extra Stout in a bottle, but I will happily drink the Draught in a Can. I expect that in cooking, the taste would also be different.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Homero
        hotsauce28 Jan 30, 2008 09:42 AM

        Oh, i can't do the extra stout. It tastes medicinal!
        I used the Draught but i got a bit pour-happy and put the whole can in.

        1. re: hotsauce28
          monavano Jan 30, 2008 11:31 AM

          (just nodding my head here- I did the same thing when I made short ribs as I mentioned upthread. Sometimes I get a little to full of myself when tweeking a recipe and it well...backfires ;-(
          A long cooking braise is tough to toss.

      2. pikawicca Jan 28, 2008 05:03 PM

        I do not acknowledge the idea of "too much Guinness."

        3 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca
          hotsauce28 Jan 28, 2008 06:10 PM

          When you're drinking it, no. No such thing.
          Cooking with it is a completely different thing which i learned the hard way!

          1. re: hotsauce28
            pikawicca Jan 29, 2008 03:53 AM

            I would add some honey. I do this, anyway, when making lamb stew with Guinness.

            1. re: hotsauce28
              monavano Jan 29, 2008 04:45 AM

              Cooking IS different. Believe me-I made Dave Lieberman's hoisin beer braised short ribs and thought I'd get assertive with the beer and used Guiness. Yuck. The bitterness ruined the dish-that I cooked for HOURS!


          2. monavano Jan 28, 2008 07:06 AM

            A touch of honey should mellow it out. I avoid cooking with Guiness after encountering the very same problem. Acutally-what I keep on hand to cook with is O'Doul's!!


            2 Replies
            1. re: monavano
              hotsauce28 Jan 28, 2008 01:27 PM

              i tried some brown sugar (couldn't log on last night so i was on my own!). It took out some of the bitterness but i still tasted a lot of it.
              I'll try O'Doul's next time and stick to drinking the Guinness on it's own.
              Thanks guys!

              (i thought potatoes worked on over salted liquids, no??)

              1. re: hotsauce28
                Mild Bill Jan 28, 2008 04:35 PM

                No... they just season the potato...
                The sauce will still taste the same...

                You have to add bland ingredients to the stew to balance it out...
                Dairy, or instant mashed potatoes, or oatmeal...
                Oatmeal is a great and flavorful starchy thickener...
                You can toast it in a nonstick skillet and then buzz it in the food processor or use it whole...

                Newcastle Brown Ale is my cookin' beer...

            2. SilverlakeGirl Jan 27, 2008 07:53 PM

              Sour Cream?

              1. t
                three of us Jan 27, 2008 05:00 PM

                This works for spaghetti sauce that is too bitter, maybe it will help with your stew.
                Try peeling a med to lg potato and putting the whole thing in the stew while simmering. The potato will absorb the bitterness. Fish it out before it gets too soft and falls apart.

                1 Reply
                1. re: three of us
                  C. Hamster Jan 28, 2008 09:05 AM

                  Potatoes don't work for salt, sweet, hot, bitter or anything else.

                  It's been scientifically proven.

                  They just soak up the cooking liquid like a sponge -- they don't selectively discern and remove the ONLY offensive ingredient. They are not that smart.
                  You could just ladle out some liquid and have the same effect -- less liquid, equally bitter/sour/salty/hot/sweet taste.

                  You can make up a small batch without the beer and combine -- that's the best way to truly remedy the situation.

                2. Mild Bill Jan 27, 2008 04:51 PM

                  Flour blended with cold half & half will thicken the juices and soften the hard edges of flavors...

                  Or just adding some half & half...

                  It works well with acidity and mild bitterness...

                  1. andytee Jan 27, 2008 04:45 PM

                    what else is in there? can you water it down?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: andytee
                      Notorious EMDB Jan 30, 2008 11:40 AM

                      Lemon juice & whole grain mustard w/some more brown sugar? Good luck.

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