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Bitter stew???

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've got a guiness and lamb stew on the stove right now. When I taste the broth it has a slight bitter taste. Kinda hits in the back of the palate. What could be causing this? And how can I fix it? Right now I've just got the meat in the broth which is beef stock (from a box) and 2 cans of guiness, onions, tomato paste etc. I haven't added the veg yet, so I guess that might pull some of the bitterness out once added. Otherwise I suppose I could add a little suger to balance it out??? Any other suggestions.
post #2 of 9
Hey, Guinness is bitter. :beer: :lips:

If you are adding vegetables like carrots or parsnips, those have plenty of natural sweetness to balance. But I wouldn't do anything else until the dish is finished and has a chance to mellow for a day or so (if you have that time). If it still really bothers you then, well, I guess this is the last time you cook with Guinness. :(
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 9
The bitterness would be coming from the guinness. I would suggest simmering for 1 1/2 hours. Also make sure to caramelize your vegies real well before adding, as the resulting naturally occuring sugars will be heightened. Also I would add additional onions to your vegies because they have lots of sugar.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. I realize the guiness is bitter. But the hit at the back of the throught is a little over the top. Carmelizing the veg sounds like a good idea I wouldn't have thought of that. Thanks, I'll give it a go.
post #5 of 9
Can you reduce the amount of guinness in your stew? Perhaps you're just not achieving the correct balance of flavours.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 9
I don't know but I assume everyone here is right. But I have also cooked meat with guiness and the bitterness mellowed out once it cooked out, if that makes any sense. Perhaps you should have made the stew w/o the guiness first, and then strained it, and then heated the liquid/sauce with the beer.... Or sear the meat and veg (separately,) and then deglazed w/ guiness. How did you make this???

Actually, when I first saw the title of the thread I thought it might be the kind of bitterness that can come from burning the meat or vegetables from the initial searing process.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Basically I floured and browned the meat in a Dutch oven. Then I sweated diced onions in veg oil, added tomato paste, flour to and cooked it out. I then deglazed with 2 cans of guiness added about a litre and a bit of beef stock brought it to a simmer and returned the meat to the broth and simmered for a couple of hours. It was at this point that I tasted the bitterness. After about an hour and a half of simmering the bitterness started to mellow a little, but I carmelized my veg in a separate pan (pearl onions, carrots, celery, potato) popped them in the stew let them go for about 45mins finnish it off with some sage and parsley and served it up. Turned out pretty good in the end. Although I think I might skip out flouring the meat next. There's enough fat in stewing meat to get good colour on its own. Carmelizing the veg was a good idea. Not only did it take the bitterness out nicely but it added a really deep earthy flavour that went well with the sage. With all this cold weather I've been on kind of a stew and curry kick lately. A bowl of this stew and of course a pint of :beer:. certainly served us all pretty well. Thanks for all the help folks:D
post #8 of 9
Lamb stew with Guiness is one of my culinary chimeras. I made a batch years ago, off the top of my head, no recipe, & before, I have to say, I knew what I was doing - and it was brilliant.

I've never been able to recreate it.

Hmmm. I may just have another whack at it.

Bit of acid needed? vinegar maybe?
The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #9 of 9
I add a few chopped up prunes before simmering. They just melt away and seem to cut the bitterness of the beer!
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