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Need some help with this stew!

Alter

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The color of my stew looks terrible!

It is a simple beef stew (daube, perhaps?)...some chuck meat that I tossed in flour and then browned, added some onions, garlic and carrots with some red wine and a bit of stock....been braising for a couple of hours. I have made this many times and it usually comes out with a nice reddish brown sauce. This one is a greyish brown..not very appealing.

Any recs to save it?
 

Thomas

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FD&C red No.7 ?
 

itsstillmatt

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Let it cool and remove the fat from the top. It probably just boiled a bit too quickly and got emulsified.
 

Piobaire

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No one laugh at this suggestion...

First, do what Matt said. Then, add a bit of a darkened roux?
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
No one laugh at this suggestion...

First, do what Matt said. Then, add a bit of a darkened roux?


If he does that, he needs to strain the liquid and then add the roux on top of the liquid a little at time, whisking like crazy as it goes in. Really, that will only thicken, it won't appreciably darken the color.
 

Piobaire

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I was wondering if it would darken it or not. Thanks.
 

Alter

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Thanks, gents...I will do as Matt suggested.

Would it be bad to do add some wine and then reduce it some more? I want to add some liquid as I would prefer the sauce to be slightly thinner.

Sorry..this is sounding like Cooking 101 now.
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by Alter
Thanks, gents...I will do as Matt suggested.

Would it be bad to do add some wine and then reduce it some more? I want to add some liquid as I would prefer the sauce to be slightly thinner.

Sorry..this is sounding like Cooking 101 now.


No, not bad, do it.

Strain first if the solids are already cooked through. Set them aside and then re-add and warm when you are happy with the liquid.
 

Alter

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Originally Posted by Manton
No, not bad, do it.

Strain first if the solids are already cooked through. Set them aside and then re-add and warm when you are happy with the liquid.


Thanks. When I added the wine it was easy to see that Matt's advice was spot on. The unpleasant color is contained in the fat. After it reduces a bit, I will cool it and skim the top and expect it to look (and taste) great.

Thanks for saving me from adding some dollops of tomato paste, which is what I was considering.
 

oscarthewild

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This will change the flavour somewhat

Cut onions in half
slice them into very very thin half-rounds

remove some of the fat from the stew and use that to fry these onions, it will take more fat than one expects.

The onions will soften then start turning colour.
This stage is critical, stir so that instead of burning, the colour transition from golden through caramel to deep rich brown.

Once brown, remove with slotted spoon. drain as much oil as possible. then crush the now crisp onions.

These onions will help you thicken the stew and add colour and flavour.

hope it helps.

-
 

SField

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Originally Posted by oscarthewild
This will change the flavour somewhat

Cut onions in half
slice them into very very thin half-rounds

remove some of the fat from the stew and use that to fry these onions, it will take more fat than one expects.

The onions will soften then start turning colour.
This stage is critical, stir so that instead of burning, the colour transition from golden through caramel to deep rich brown.

Once brown, remove with slotted spoon. drain as much oil as possible. then crush the now crisp onions.

These onions will help you thicken the stew and add colour and flavour.

hope it helps.

-



He already started with a mirepoix... too much onion can be a bad thing.
 

impolyt_one

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^ those Japanese onions are particularly sweet, as well. Japanese produce in general seems to be bursting in flavor and natural sugars compared to what people buy in America.
 

impolyt_one

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FWIW, I ran into the same problem yesterday with my beef stew, at the same stage. Relating this because I make my beef stew the Japanese way, which is probably similar to how Alter made his. Had browned large cubes of chuck in flour, looked really nice and seared, rested those and then put on some diced carrots and onion in a good 3-4 tablespoons of butter, deglazed with Japanese canned fond de veau and a splash of brandy, added red wine, added canned consomme, re-added beef. Threw in a bouquet garni I rigged up from some negi and herbs, threw a half of a fresh tomato I found in the fridge, some bay leaves, brought up to heat and then simmered - turned out grey.

My problem was probably that I dredged the chuck too heavily, and sauteed my onions in too much butter - needed far less fat at that point. The simmer just let the flour crust on my beef dissolve and emulsify with the butter-logged onions and carrots, and a couple hours later I just had gravy, essentially.

I let it cool down, picked all the beef out, strained the onions and carrots out (they were spent at that point anyway) until the stock was running smooth, put in fridge, took it out and skimmed the remaining fat off, added some water, repeated the skimming until I got my fat out almost completely, including some rendered beef fat that came off the meat. Pretty much as good as new now. I have had it in the fridge chilling overnight, waiting for one more fat skimming, and then I'm gonna reheat it, drop a couple halved onions in there to reduce the liquid a bit, and then add some canned Japanese demiglace to finish it off. It should be pretty good now.
 

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