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General Discussion

Braising cheap cuts of meat without wine?

Scotty Unbeamed | Sep 21, 200403:44 PM     14

Hi y'all:

I need to cook frugally, but I also try to cook well. I love buying cheap cuts of meat, especially when they're on sale. Pork shoulder, for instance, rocks!

When I buy a big hunk of beef, I like to make a slow-simmering stew/braise - perfect for the upcoming colder weather. However, many recipes of this nature call for red wine. Geez, red wine gets expensive, and kind of defeats the purpose of cooking frugally. I don't live in the U.S., so I don't have access to the infamous Two-Buck Chuck. And I also don't like cooking with cheap wine that's too skanky to drink.

Are there good substitutes for wine? For instance, if I throw in lots of tomatoes, beef broth, herbs and such, and maybe splash in some red wine vinegar, will the resulting dish have a full enough flavor? I do throw in beer once in a while (to make carbonnade), but it doesn't seem to be quite as versatile as wine...

Any suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks very much for your help.

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