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Various wine recipes.

You can cook with red wine and you can cook with white wine.

'I like to cook with wine, and sometimes I even add it to the food,' reads the caption of a cartoon in Bill?s book, ?How to Make a Chicken go Further?. 

Here are a few dishes well-known for having wine as an essential part of the recipe:

Cooking with red wine:

1)    Coq au Vin

2)    Boeuf Bourguignon

3)    Rabbit braised in wine

4)    Octopus or squid stewed in red wine

5)    Ratatouille

6)    In puddings: Poires Belle Helene

Cooking with white wine:

1)    Cod or Halibut baked in white wine sauce

2)    Chicken braised in white wine

3)    Pasta with mushroom and white wine sauce

4)    In puddings: Peaches poached in white wine with vanilla

Although not a dish, a section on wine recipes would hardly be complete without a section on mulled wine, so we'll cover that too.

The first three recipes using red wine have a common feature which is the way their sauce is thickened. We are talking of the Coq au Vin, the Boeuf Bourguignon and Rabbit braised in wine. In each case remove the food from the roasting dish and place this on a hob to heat the natural juices so that they reduce a little and slowly stir in two tablespoons of flour. Continue heating and stirring in till there are no lumps. Add the food back to the dish and place in the oven for 10 mins at 200C.

A little word of warning about cooking wine. In the UK, excise duty is very high ! As at the first part of 2014: 2 a bottle for the most basic table wine. Wine labelled as 'Cooking Wine' escapes this tax. To qualify for being absolved from this 'pleasure tax' as I call it, it has to be undrinkable (usually by having salt or monosodium glutamate added). This is not the stuff for gourmets.  Just pay the duty.  Use inexpensive wine, by all means. A good bag-in-the-box is suitable, but do use a wine that is not good enough to actually drink. It will only spoil your carefully prepared meal if you use an 'undrinkable' wine.