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Sep 18, 2010 09:31 AM

offsetting acrid tomato flavor in stew

Im in the process of making a rabbit braise with white wine and tomatoes. The wine was cooked down altogether before the tomatoes (pretty much without the can juice were added. The net effect after an hour of cooking is too acid and maybe a bit bittter, I think, from the tomatoes, tho, drining the wine now (a trebbiano) its not exactly wonderful either. There is enough salt in the dish. Ive thought of sauteeing some onions and adding, but does anyone have other suggestions for sweetening/offsetting the acidity in this dish?

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  1. Try a teaspoon or more of white sugar, depending on how much stew you have. Sugar seems to "calm" the acidity of tomatoes.

    1. Not sure whether you've added the meat already. If not, you could try just cooking it longer to caramelize.

      1. Adding a little sugar is the easiest to balance the acidity of tomato. I would start with a pinch, then more if needed. Just a little too much sugar can make the dish taste sugar sweet rather than tomato sweet. I find that the acidity of canned varies brand to brand and year to year.

        1. Don't know if you happen to have any Manuka honey on hand but I find its rich, caramel-like flavour is a quick way to balance out my tomato-based sauces. As others have said, adding some sweetness should provide the balance you're looking for.

          1. Yes, onions will do the trick.

            Try caramelizing them, puree, and then add to stew. Or just rough chop instead of pureeing to create a more rustic feel to your stew. Make sure they are yellow or brown onions (maybe even red ones), though, and not something more bitter like white onions.

            Roasting some carrots would also do the trick.