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  • FIRST POST
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 10:49 AM
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    pavlovs_dog
    alcohol in cooking
    • #1
    • 29th Mar 06, 10:49 AM
    alcohol in cooking 29th Mar 06 at 10:49 AM
    when using alcohol in cooking, are there any brands you favour, do you use what is already in the house, or go for the cheapest you can get.

    am currently deliberating between doing a beef in beer or highland casserole, and was wondering what the best beer for cooking would be?
    know thyself

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Page 1
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 29th Mar 06, 11:11 AM
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    squeaky
    • #2
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:11 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:11 AM
    Any good beer works just fine - but for best results with beef I prefer to use a stout such as Guinness.

    As for wine, when you wnat to cook with it, my basic rule of thumb is "If it isn't worth drinking it isn't worth cooking with."

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  • Heth
    • #3
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:23 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:23 AM
    I use cheap wine in cooking, unless its just a splash out of the bottle we are having that evening. I have never had any problems cooking with wine that I wouldn't drink, and red especially is great in cassseroles. When I do mulled wine I don't use wine that I would drink by itself, I just get the cheapest I can find, and as long as you mull it properly it makes no difference to the end result. Casseroles are the same.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 29th Mar 06, 12:03 PM
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    thriftlady
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:03 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:03 PM
    I agree with Heth,I don't subscribe to the idea that you should only cook with wine you'd be prepared to drink at all.I use those little cans of cheap red and white wine for cooking,I always have one of each on hand.

    If I just need a splash of white wine I use Vermouth,because you don't need to use it up once opened.I also use fino sherry a lot.I sometimes cook with beer,I ususally go for stout of some kind.

    I
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 12:04 PM
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    pavlovs_dog
    • #5
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:04 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:04 PM
    well its currently highland casserole, but i may buy some guiness or similar when in town, so long as i can convince OH to drink the putrid remains (i hate guinness!)
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • comping cat
    • By comping cat 29th Mar 06, 12:06 PM
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    comping cat
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:06 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:06 PM
    Im with Squeaky, if its not good enough to drink, i dont use it!!!! I often freeze wine, if i have any left in an ice cube tray, so that i have some for my cooking, just a shame i dont have much left very often!!!!
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 12:16 PM
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    pavlovs_dog
    • #7
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:16 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:16 PM
    we're not really wine drinkers, so any wine that is knocking around the place is fair game, be if for drinking or for cooking with
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • Lydia
    • #8
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:25 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:25 PM
    I use whatever wine there is in the house, but then I wouldn't have bought wine if I didn't plan on drinking it. IMO the only problems would be if you were using a very sweet wine in a savoury dish or if the dish requires a specific wine such as chicken chausser, even then I often substitute with something cheaper as long as its white.


    Pavlovs dog, out of interest, what is highland casserole?
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 12:42 PM
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    pavlovs_dog
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:42 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:42 PM
    Pavlovs dog, out of interest, what is highland casserole?
    by Lydia
    its a recipe from MIL2Bs St Michael (marks and spencer's) "casserole cooking" book by Myra Street. there are some really nice recipes in it, and we can tell which ones have been tried and tested by the variety of stains etc on the page


    highland casserole recipe

    450g braising steak, trimmed and cubed
    2 onions, peeled and diced
    1 carrot, peeled and diced
    1 turnip, peeled and diced
    50g pearl barley
    1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
    450ml stock
    2 bay leaves
    salt and pepper


    heat oil in pan and brown the meat (at the fron tof the book it recommends dipping the meat in flour before frying to help thinken the gravy later on :confused. lower heat, add the vegetables and cook for about 3 mins. transfer to a casserole and add remaining ingedients. cover and cook for 1 and a half hours @ 180C / 350f/ gas 4

    taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. remove the bay leaves, garnish with parsley and serve.



    we had it on sunday, as we had guests for dinner, and it was nice and easy to prepare then leave to its own devices.

    i managed to pick up 2 casserole veg packs reduced to clear in asdas last night, got over 2 worth of veg for 82p! so i thought i'd have a crack at making casserole, as i've only ever made soup before.

    i havent followed the recipe exactly - i have no turnip, but do have potato, swede and carrot (and may be adding guinness ) so it's a variation on a theme we'll be having tonight, but it smells divine. OH is drooling at the mouth, because i also have a stewed apple cake in the oven which smells lovely - cant wait to try that either
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • Lydia
    Thanks for the recipe Pavlovs dog, it sounds yummy.
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 1:03 PM
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    pavlovs_dog
    you're welcome!

    it goes lovely with potatoes of some shape or form (we're going to use up left over roasties tonight), and most veg, but especially greens. oh, and crusty bread for mopping up the gravy
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • Philippa36
    • By Philippa36 29th Mar 06, 1:11 PM
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    Philippa36
    We never have wine left over :confused: although we do tend to splash some in when we have a bottle open if the recipe asks for it, usually red, don't often drink white wine. We do have a bottle of brandy, bought specifically for the Xmas cake two years ago and I know there is plenty left for this years cake too

    We only have banana beer in the house (Asda's is the only place that I can find that sells it, but its delicious! ) but I don't think thats quite a strong enough taste for a casserole.
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
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    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 1:13 PM
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    pavlovs_dog
    plus im not sure about beef and banana together although i have been planning on adding some to a banana loaf cake
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • Philippa36
    • By Philippa36 29th Mar 06, 1:17 PM
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    Philippa36
    Mmmmmmmm but that means I have to buy twice as many bottles ~ one to drink one for the cake.........
    I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.
    Kurt Vonnegut
    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 29th Mar 06, 1:28 PM
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    nearlyrich
    I keep a bottle of cheap sherry in the kitchen cupboard (hic) honest it's for trifles etc

    I don't usually have unused wine here either so would open a decentish bottle and then drink the rest with the meal!

    Beer, we have bitter in for DH, never made beef in beer type stuff so I am not much help am I?

    Back to the cooking sherry !
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    • Sarahsaver
    • By Sarahsaver 29th Mar 06, 1:46 PM
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    Sarahsaver
    If I would't drink it I wouldn't cook with it. You can always try a casserole with cheapo wine vs one with drinkable wine. Had some lovely red from aldis so it doesnt have to cost the earth. As for beer I would use guinness with beef, red wine in bolognese, or vinegar if you are low on dosh (after slow cooking the addition of vinegar actually tastes great) And vermouth in risotto, which again is cost effective.the only exception is i get the cheapo co op sherry for chinese cooking, but I dont like sherry anyhow!
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group
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    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 29th Mar 06, 1:53 PM
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    thriftlady
    If I would't drink it I wouldn't cook with it. You can always try a casserole with cheapo wine vs one with drinkable wine. Had some lovely red from aldis so it doesnt have to cost the earth. As for beer I would use guinness with beef, red wine in bolognese, or vinegar if you are low on dosh (after slow cooking the addition of vinegar actually tastes great)
    by Sarahsaver
    But I wouldn't drink vinegar ! Surely if the vinegar is alright after a long slow cook a cheap wine would be too?
    • Sarahsaver
    • By Sarahsaver 29th Mar 06, 3:31 PM
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    Sarahsaver
    A spoonful of vinegar is a great cure for hiccups!
    I would rather a good vinegar than a cheap wine! LOL mind you these days cheap wine is nowhere near as rank as it used to be...
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • dixie dean
    It's an interesting one, the old wine issue. Lot's of top chefs go down the "If it's not good enough for drinking..." route. However, I'd say 99% of people would not notice the difference in cooking between a 3 bottle and a 10 bottle and most of us probably drink somewhere in the middle. Traditionally white wine is actually used in Bolognese. And milk. And no garlic. But hey, do what you like. As for the stew, stout would probably be good. For an unusual twist you could try liquidising fish eyes. Or maybe not.
  • ti1980
    You could get a good bottle of wine that is on offer though. So a 6.99 bottle reduced to 3.99 or something. That's what some friends of mine always do, buy a reasonable bottle (6.99-9.99 generally) when its on offer for under a fiver.
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