I'm preparing the court-bouillon recipe from James Peterson's Sauces (p. 103 of 3rd edition). The procedure is, roughly:

  1. Sweat vegetables,
  2. Simmer vegetables for 10 minutes,
  3. Add white wine and vinegar, simmering for a further 15 to 20 minutes, and then
  4. Cool and strain.

My question is about step 3. For what reasons would the wine and vinegar be withheld for the first 10 minutes of simmering? Is this an evaporation issue? Or is there some deeper interaction between wine/vinegar and vegetables to be accounted for?



1 Answer 1


Court-bouillon is an old French broth designed for subtle seafood dishes (crayfish/lobster etc.). There is no "standard" for it

The finished product should have a note of the wine and vinegar (make sure you use a good quality wine and vinegar)

If you add the wine and vinegar too early they may have time to overly react with the other ingredients and make their flavours too strong (ethanol and acids strip good and bad flavours from vegetables and herbs). If you add it to late it may have an overly powerful smell of wine and vinegar

The simple trick is to add it nearer the end, and gently simmer for longer if the smell is too intense

  • 2
    Thanks for posting. The discussion of ethanol and acids was the type of response I hoped for.
    – noob
    Aug 21, 2012 at 19:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.