A Community for Brides Planning their Wedding in Australia

 
gdemon
I just love to talk
I just love to talk
Topic Author
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:28 pm

Problem with beef stew - has any one had this happen before?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:39 am

I had the weirdest thing happen while making a beef stew last night. After I'd sauteed the onions, chucked in the beef and carrots etc, I poured in a cup of red wine and a cup of water, and the stew liquid turned a HORRIBLE yucky greenish-black with foam/scum on top. It tasted really odd, really musty with a strong taste of mushrooms (despite not having any 'shrooms in there). Was cooking it in an enamelled cast-iron pot, and there was greenish-black residue all along the edges of the stew on the beige enamel surface. YUCK!!! Had to pour the whole thing in a colander and rinse out the meat and veg with cold water before cooking again in a new lot of stock and wine, which put dinner back by nearly an hour.

The only thing I can think of that might have caused it was sprinkling about a teaspoon of soda bicarb on the beef before coating in flour. (I wanted to save an hour or so of stewing time, and soda bicarb acts as a tenderiser for meat, which I do all the time with no ill results with stirfries but have never tried in a stew before.) Soda bicarb can sometimes leave a bitter aftertaste if too much is used, but 1 teaspoon for 800g beef is very little. DH reckons the acidic wine probably reacted with the soda bicarb to form the bubbly foam, but that still doesn't explain the weird colour or taste.

Does anyone have any idea what might have happened? Or experienced something similar?
 
snoopkat
I just love to talk
I just love to talk
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:32 pm

Re: Problem with beef stew - has any one had this happen before?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:28 pm

I did a quick Google search and bicarb soda is an alkaline substance and when mixed with an acidic substance (like wine), gives off a carbon dioxide reaction which is most likely the bubbly substance you see in your stew.

I always cook stews and casseroles in a slow cooker so never had to use bicarb soda as a tenderising agent.
 
gdemon
I just love to talk
I just love to talk
Topic Author
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:28 pm

Re: Problem with beef stew - has any one had this happen before?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:52 pm

I'm still quite bewildered as to where the strange, mushroomy taste and greenish-black colour and residue came from though. :( I've never used soda bicarb in my stews before as I usually cook them in the oven for 2-3 hours, only in stirfries, to which I've added acidic liquids (cooking wine or vinegar) with no strange tastes!

The other possible culprits are an old onion (but I did cut off all the 'off' parts), or a possibly mouldy jar of tomato paste - it was the last tablespoon in the jar so it had been in the fridge for several weeks, though I didn't see any visible mould.

(Hah! I don't usually use stale ingredients or try to 'short-cut' my stews, I was just feeling lazy last night and I didn't bother to get started till 6.30pm...)

I might try pouring red wine on a little bit of soda bicarb tonight to see if I can replicate that colour/taste...
 
User avatar
L.I.W
Insert Candy Here
Insert Candy Here
Posts: 7229
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:26 pm

Re: Problem with beef stew - has any one had this happen before?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Weird. I am another slow cooker so have not experienced anything like that. Sounds like the bi-carb/wine mix was not a great one though!
 
snoopkat
I just love to talk
I just love to talk
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:32 pm

Re: Problem with beef stew - has any one had this happen before?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:03 pm

Hmm...another possibility could be that the effervescence of the bicarb/wine mix 'lifted' any residue you had left in your pot and mixed it in with the stew.
GZIP: On | Load: 0.95