Sous vide lambshanks- sauce with beer...Help please!

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Joined Oct 31, 2016
I am planning to sous vide lamb shanks for a party. My idea is to put a little porter, oliveoil and thyme in the bags with the lambs, but my trouble is the sauce. I want it to have the goodness of traditional irish lambshanks made in the oven, but my trouble until now is that the sauce becomes to bitter. So I have been checking out different recipes and I see that a few chefs use honey and raisins to counteract the bitterness of the beer.  So my plan now is: use the stock from the finished bags of lamb as a base, add honey, raisins, carrots and shallot onions and let that simmer sown before adding a little more porter in the end. maybe a little agar just to thicken up the sauce a bit.

How would you guys work this out- any advice is great! :)

(and yes, I have to include beer in the sauce...)
 
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Use a pale ale, that's what I use and have not experienced any bitterness. Add that braising liquid to some stock, reduce and tighten with a bit of roux.
 

pete

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Use a pale ale, that's what I use and have not experienced any bitterness. Add that braising liquid to some stock, reduce and tighten with a bit of roux.
I would add to that though, stay away from IPAs.  They are a whole different beast and can be incredibly bitter.  Can't imagine what they would be like after any kind of reduction.
 
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Joined Jul 4, 2016
A cicerone friend of mine suggested reducing Belgian barrel sour beers for sauces. duchesse de Bourgogne would be a good example. Very low hop usage, which are what get bitter when reduced. They are inoculated with lactobacilli, then aged in oak for a year and take on complexities like a good red wine. Tart as opposed to bitter. Very enjoyable to drink, but I've yet to try it in a sauce. Stay away from North American kettle sours, as we tend to use a lot of hops, especially on the west coast where I am.
 
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
Be very careful about long booze braises sous vide. They can suddenly become very bitter regardless of the starting liquor. I suggest that you either not do this sous vide at all, or do it first for yourself to test. If the reaction happens, your dish will be inedible. That's not an exaggeration, either.


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