In this Lifestyle tit-bit post we focus on using wine in cooking.
All these questions are outlined below, so let’s go to explore.
Wine is an acidic product that helps to tenderise meat, impart some flavour or even constitute an ultimate part of your dish. You can use it to marinade meats, sprinkle it over fish that is being cooked, use to poach pears in red wine or create flavour sensations of beef bourguignon.
If you boil your wine it will lose the alcoholic strength so there is no chance you couldn’t drive after such a meal.
No, but there is a but. Some examples of dishes, i.e. above mentioned beef bourguignon, are made to be matched with the local wines, not necessarily the same same, but you can opt for a better quality Burgundian Pinot Noir.
It doesn’t mean though that you need to choose the lowest quality wine for cooking - some low quality wines are so rich with preservatives, flavour enhancers and other artificial nasty stuff, you need to avoid them at all cost.
In general, we sometimes buy a bottle of wine and not feeling like we totally like the taste. Keep that bottle for cooking. You won’t need to store it any different - have it handy in your cupboard.
You will need the following ingredients to prepare this jus for a dozen of people to have plenty:
Just a comment on port: if you do not have it or do not like sweet fortified wines then simply opt for a more full bodied red and use 400 ml of it for the recipe.
Now how you do it:
Top tip: people sometimes underestimate how quickly it can be reduced by half, so start early on the day or make your prep in advance (you can then freeze some portions of your jus to be used later on).
We keep the same quantities here - prepping this white wine sauce for about 12 people to have it plenty.
You will need:
Note on the mustard and herbs: you can make this sauce really exciting every time you prepare it. Simply choose Dijon mustard for a more delicate sauce or English for a more spicy one, add oregano, parsley, basil to the sauce if you want different flavours from the herbs.
So what do you need to do:
The only difference with these recipes is that you should prepare white wine sauce just before serving. It is not very good for freezing and reheating as components might separate and it will look quite terrible actually.
Variations of the recipes: simply adjust the ingredients to make your sauce thicker and more like a gravy or delicately thinner like a jus. You can then play with it and use it to create a beef casserole with red wine, chicken in white wine sauce, red wine gravy that is to great for roasts and celebratory dinners. You can use a mixture of flour and water to thicken your sauce or gravy, for gluten free option you can opt to use arrowroot - a natural plant based thickening agent. As a general note, it is easier to thicken your sauce without much compromise to flavour, than than trying to dilute a thick sauce with water, wine or stock to make it as a jus as it also reduces flavour concentration.
Finally, some quick suggestions on inexpensive organic wines that you can use to create fantastic sauces with no added pesticides in your wines. Cheers