I learned today's tip from the ladies in the dish room at Greystone. Day after day, they take our scorched, greasy pans and clean up our mistakes without grumbling. I've burned a couple pans pretty bad, but they taught me how to release the nasty, tough bottom layer without hours of soaking or scrubbing.
Fill the pot with enough water to cover the burned area and place it back on the stove. Turn the burner on to medium-low and just let it simmer. In the meantime, do other dishes. Try to make the dish over again, this time without the bitter, burnt taste. Or, if the creation can be salvaged, go ahead and eat. Twenty minutes at a low simmer will release the burned crust easily. Simple as that!