An Australian Cabernet Merlot is Good with Beef Pot Roast

We revisited pot roast with garlic and wine from Supercook, a recipe that we had not cooked for a long time. Pancetta is fried off and discarded and the top rump of beef is then browned. Onions, garlic and carrots are then added and tomato purée, bouquet garni and red wine are poured over the beef. It is then casseroled in the oven.

After cooking, the liquid is strained and the sauce is thickened with a beurre manié. Tomatoes are then stirred in. Finally the meat is sliced and green olives are scattered over. The sauce is served over and the remainder is put in a sauce boat to accompany. We served the meal with little roastie potatoes and garlic bread.2016-04-01 19.06.41

We thought a Cabernet/Merlot blend would be a good pairing and opened a bottle of Pitchfork, Margaret River Cabernet Merlot 2012, a full-bodied Australian red from the Wine Society.

We detected vanilla on the nose followed by creamy, smooth, chocolaty black fruits on the palate, with a slight spiciness. A good match with the beef.

Which Drink Pairings for a Mexican Buffet?

2016-03-25 18.03.382016-03-25 18.17.572016-03-25 18.22.49We enjoyed a family holiday on the Riviera Maya in February and decided to get together with our family and some friends who had also been to the same resort to enjoy a photo evening. We thought a Mexican buffet would be a good idea. Our son contributed his own delicious version of chicken enchiladas and one of our friends supplied a chilli con carne with dark chocolate in the sauce. Our daughter and son-in-law provided a spectacular nachos, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and salad. We did Justine Patisson’s pulled pork tacos from the BBC Good Food website.

What to drink with such a variety of flavours? A couple of different Shirazes were on offer, including Blaxland Estate 2015, from Tesco. 2016-03-25 18.23.572016-03-25 19.15.19Those preferring white wine, enjoyed Louis Felipe Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, supplied by our son because it was one of the house whites from our Mexican hotel. There was also Guinness West Indies Porter available as an alternative to wine.

With such a variety of flavours it was impossible to find something that paired well with everything, especially with dishes like the pork tacos that contained marked sweetness. My preference was Shiraz, but the porter was also popular. Overall, a buffet with such diverse flavours is probably not the best occasion to bring out the fine wines.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a Great Match with Beef Wellington

We tried a couple of Beef Wellingtons from Bakers of Nailsea, our local butcher and we watched them being prepared in the shop.

A fillet steak is placed on a sheet of pastry and pâté with duxelles is spread over it. The steak is then wrapped in the pastry.  OK not the most sophisticated Wellington, but all we needed to do was pop them in the oven for an easy meal. We served with sautéed potatoes and green beans tossed in garlic butter and lemon juice.2016-03-20 18.37.14 2016-03-20 18.49.23

Our wine choice was a bottle of H. Valrasque Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2014, a full-bodied French red blend from Tesco.

We detected black fruits on the nose, with red and black fruits on the palate and a hint of spice and chocolate on the finish.  Probably not the best example of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but still a very good match with the Beef Wellington.

Off-Dry Whites Work Well with Thai Massaman Curry

2016-03-12 18.33.37We tried Madhur Jaffrey’s version of Beef and Potato Massaman Curry,  a Thai dish.

Pieces of beef skirt are fried with coconut cream, bay leaf and Massaman curry paste, which is made from red chillies, white peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, curry powder and shrimp paste.

Fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, potatoes and water are then added and the curry is simmered.  Fried shallots are sprinkled over before serving.

We attempted to pair the meal with a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a New Zealand white from Costco.  However, more sweetness was needed, so we set it aside in favour of a bottle of Awatere Pinot Grigio 2013, an off-dry New Zealand white from Tesco.2016-03-12 18.29.26

We tasted tropical fruits with a pineapple sweetness and grapefruit sharpness. This wine was a reasonably good match with the food.

We tried a bottle of Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, an Australian white from Costco, with the leftovers a couple of days later and thought this was also a good match.  See here for a another good food pairing for this wine.

Argentinian Malbec Good with Steak in Sour Cream Sauce

We tried Filetgulasch mit Saurer Sahne, a German recipe from Supercook.  Sirloin steak is coated with seasoning and flour and fried in butter and topped with a mixture of onions, red pepper and paprika.  A reduced sauce made from the steak cooking juices, red wine and sour cream is then poured over the steaks. We served the steaks with sauté potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes.

We paired the steak in sour cream sauce with a bottle of Uco Valley Malbec 2014 from Aldi’s Exquisite Collection.

This full-bodied Argentinian red displayed violet notes on the nose, a vanilla sweetness on the palate and was very fruity with flavours of plums and blackberries.  The wine was a good match with the meal.

Which Chilean Red with Beef Tacos?

For a midweek meal we had Old El Paso’s Taco kit.  Taco shells are loaded with minced beef cooked with a spice mix containing seasoning, paprika and cumin. The tacos are topped with salsa, tomatoes, grated Cheddar, sour cream, guacamole and crisp lettuce.

With so many flavours, finding a good wine pairing is a challenge.  Research online suggested a variety of options including Tempranillo, Shiraz and South American reds.

We decided on a bottle of Corte Ignacio Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, a full-bodied Chilean red from the Wine Society.  A couple of mouthfuls indicated this was not a good match, so we set the wine aside. 

 We turned to a bottle of La Moneda Merlot Reserva 2014, another full-bodied Chilean red, this time from Asda.

We detected red fruits on the nose, dark plum flavours and a spicy finish.  Whilst the wine was a good match with the tacos, we will try to improve on the pairing next time. 

 

A Barolo is Excellent with Pan-Fried T-Bone Steak

We bought a lovely T-Bone steak from our local butcher Bakers of Nailsea. We pan-fried the steak and served it with chips, Parmesan tomatoes and mushrooms, together with parsley butter and Dijon mustard.

 We enjoyed the steak with a bottle of Tesco‘s Finest Barolo 2007.

This powerful Italian red made from the Nebbiolo grape delivered sweet plums on the nose, flavours of sweet vanilla, followed by earthy savouriness, red fruits and subtle spiciness.  An excellent match with the steak.

An Australian Red Blend is Very Good with Chilli con Carne

2015-09-15 18.25.44A number of my previous posts have covered wine pairings with various versions of Chilli con Carne.  I wasn’t intending to post any further Chilli pairings, but couldn’t resist this one.

The recipe is from Justine Pattison’s Without the Calories Comfort Food cookbook and uses cubed stewing steak, onions, garlic, hot chilli powder, smoked paprika, beef stock, chopped tomatoes, cumin, coriander, flour, sugar, oregano, red kidney beans, lime juice and seasoning.  We threw in a red chilli to heat it up a little more and served with rice.

We paired the chilli with a bottle of Dirty Red 2013, an Australian red blend from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We detected black fruits on the nose and a powerful black cherry sweetness on the palate with a dark chocolate finish.  One of the best pairings we have enjoyed with a Chilli con Carne.

A Super Tuscan Red is Very Good with Beef Stroganoff

We have rarely been able to achieve a really good wine pairing with Beef Strogonoff.  See herehere and here for previous pairings.  Some have reported success with Super Tuscan reds, so we decided to try one with the perfect beef stroganoff recipe from the Drift Bar in London.  We found this on ShortList.com

We used strips of rump steak instead of fillet, coated them in paprika and cooked them in a sauce made from shallots, chestnut mushrooms, sour cream, double cream, Dijon mustard, gherkins, lemon juice, seasoning and a parsley garnish. We served with sautéed potatoes and a green salad. 2015-08-30 18.08.06

Our Super Tuscan was a bottle of Selvascura Strozzi Toscana, 2010 a full-bodied Italian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  The wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and a previous superb pairing with this wine can be found here.

We detected spicy black fruits on the nose.  There was an initial black cherry sweetness on the palate followed by blackberry, vanilla and chocolate.  The finish was smooth and slightly spicy.2015-08-30 18.12.04

The wine was a very good match with the Stroganoff and probably the best we have achieved so far.

An Australian Red Blend is Very Good with Beef “Ribbon” Kebabs

We cooked Beef “Ribbon” Kebabs (Pasanda Kabab) from Madhur Jaffrey.

Steak is cut into thin strips or pasanda, threaded on skewers and barbecued.  For simplicity we just cubed some good quality rump steak. but first we marinated it in a blended mixture of browned onions, chopped onions, yoghurt, lemon juice, mustard oil, almonds, ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, mace and coriander.

The marinated steak was then grilled on skewers on the barbecue.

We served the meat with grilled zucchini with cumin and pulao rice.

We paired the kebabs with a bottle of Felix Swan Hill Victoria Shiraz-Sagrantino 2013, an Australian red from the Wine Society.2015-07-18 14.45.59

We detected black fruits on the nose and this followed through to the palate.  There was a slight sweetness, flavours of black cherries and a full-flavoured spicy finish.  A very good match with the beef kebabs.