Aussie Red Better Pairing than Rioja with Turkish Lamb Stew

We enjoyed Rick Stein’s “From Venice to Istanbul” tv programme last year and we tried his Lamb Kleftiko. A couple of very good pairings with that dish can be found here.

This time we cooked his rich Turkish lamb stew with aubergine purée (Hunkar begendi).

Boned lamb shoulder is cooked with red pepper paste, tomato paste, onion, garlic, green chilli, green pepper, tomatoes, oregano and seasoning. The lamb stew is served on a bed of aubergine purée made from mashed aubergine, milk, flour, Parmesan, lemon juice and seasoning. We served with flatbread.

We opened a bottle of Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva from the Co-op.  A previous bottle of this medium-bodied Spanish red was very good with lamb chops.

There were black fruits on the nose, a vanilla sweetness with mocha and sweet black fruits on the palate. A good match with the meal, but we thought the flavours in the aubergine purée may have detracted a little from the pairing.2016-01-15 18.01.11

We finished off the leftovers with a bottle of Dark Corner Durif Shiraz 2014, a full-bodied Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club. We chose this wine because it had previously made a very good match with lamb meatballs in tomato sauce.

There were brambly fruits on the nose, vanilla sweetness on the palate, with blackberry fruit and a milk chocolate and coffee mocha finish. The Shiraz was a better match than the Rioja with this particular combination of Turkish lamb stew and aubergine purée.

Which Spanish Red with Lamb Stew with Vegetables?

We cooked a favourite we had not enjoyed for a long time, Lamb Stew with Vegetables, a Supercook recipe.

Cubed lamb is browned in a seasoning made from salt, pepper, nutmeg, mint and turmeric, then fried with onions. The lamb is casseroled with tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, chicken stock and lemon juice.  Cubed potatoes and chick peas are added later.  We served this superb meal with crusty bread.

We opened a bottle of Castillo Catadau Gran Reserva 2006, a full-bodied Spanish red from Naked Wines.  This Tempranillo was deep red in the glass and we tasted creamy vanilla spiciness, dark chocolate with smooth mixed red and black fruits. A very good match.IMG_2162-0.jpg

We finished the leftovers the following evening and decided to stick with a Spanish red, but we opted for a Garnacha for comparison.  The wine was Martinez Bujanda Rioja Garnacha 2011 from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  Again we tasted creamy vanilla but with more sweetness, red fruits and a smooth, savoury, spicy and creamy finish.  A good match, but the Tempranillo worked better.IMG_2163.JPG

French and Spanish Reds Very Good with Lamb Kleftiko

We’ve been watching Rick Stein’s “From Venice to Istanbul” cookery programme and thought we’d try his lamb kleftiko.  However, we modified the recipe by using lamb shanks instead of leg and we cooked it in the slow cooker.

The lamb shanks were put in the slow cooker along with waxy potatoes, red pepper and tomatoes. We poured lemon juice and olive oil over the lamb and added garlic, oregano and water. We added Feta cheese towards the end. Very tasty.

We decided on a bottle of Christian Moueix Bordeaux 2010, a Merlot-based French red from the Wine Society.  We paired a previous bottle of this wine with lamb shanks and enjoyed it.

There was an initial cherry sweetness followed by flavours of blackberries and dark plums, with smooth tannins.  A very good match with the kleftiko.2015-09-25 19.16.33

We enjoyed the leftovers a couple of days later and tried a bottle of Momo Ribero del Duero 2010, a full-bodied Spanish red also from the Wine Society.

This Tempranillo was inky black in the glass with black fruits on the nose.  We tasted vanilla sweetness and black fruits from this powerful and smooth wine.  It was almost as good with the lamb as the Bordeaux.2015-09-27 19.06.10

A Red Bordeaux is Very Good with Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

2015-07-05 17.52.32We tried Braemoor slow-cooked lamb shanks in red wine and rosemary gravy from Lidl.  These are cooked sous-vide and we served the lamb shanks with mashed potato and green beans. Very quick to prepare and tasty.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Christian Moueix Bordeaux 2010, a French red from the Wine Society.

This medium-bodied Merlot-based claret had an initial sweetness, followed by mixed berry fruit flavours and smooth tannins.

A very good match with the lamb shanks.

A Spanish Red Preferred to a Red Bordeaux with Ecuadorian Lamb Stew

We cooked Ecuadorian Lamb Stew, a Supercook dish we hadn’t done for a long time.

Cubed lamb is cooked with onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes, red and green peppers, chilli powder, coriander seeds, white wine and fresh coriander leaves.  The stew is served on a bed of saffron rice.

There was a little sweetness to the dish and we fancied a red wine with some sweetness to match. We’d read that Chateau Galès Graves 2011, a red Bordeaux from Lidl had a little sweetness.  I thought it coped reasonably well with the meal but Teresa didn’t think it worked, so we set the wine aside.2015-05-29 18.14.10

We tried a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  We detected spicy red fruits and dark chocolate on the nose, followed by red berry fruits and spicy chocolate on the palate.  The finish was lingering.  A very good match with the lamb.2015-05-29 18.25.17

French and Spanish Reds Both Great with Sauté d’Agneau

We cooked Sauté d’Agneau (Lamb Sauté) from Supercook.2015-05-01 17.40.40

Cubed lamb is casseroled with onions, celery, tomato purée, grated lemon rind, mushrooms, red wine and beef stock.  We served the lamb with Dauphinoise potatoes and mushy peas.

We chose a bottle of Chateau Mont Gueydon 2005, a red Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club to pair with the meal.  This Cabernet-based blend delivered black fruits on the nose, followed by predominantly blackcurrant flavours, restrained tannins and vanilla sweetness.  The wine was a very good match with the lamb.2015-05-01 17.46.10

To drink with the leftovers we tried another wine from the Sunday Times Wine Club, Venta Real Grand Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red made from Tempranillo.  This displayed red fruits on the nose and also on the palate, with a spicy vanilla sweetness.  This wine was also a very good match with the lamb.

A Spanish Red Blend is Very Good with Lamb and Mushroom Stew

We cooked an old favourite from Supercook, Lamb and Mushroom Stew.

Cubed lamb is tossed in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and dried rosemary.  The lamb is then stewed with onions, mushrooms, chicken stock and sour cream.  We used a little less sour cream than suggested, but replaced it with some Crème fraîche.

We served the stew with rice and green salad.2015-04-04 18.15.15

We opened a bottle of Fontal Crianza Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We detected powerful fruits on the nose followed by lovely red and black berry fruit flavours, smooth vanilla and a spicy finish.  The wine was a very good match with the lamb.

Australian and Spanish Reds Very Good with Lamb Stew with Rosemary Dumplings

We found a recipe on BBC Food that looked good for a cold evening – Lamb Stew with Rosemary Dumplings by Bryn Williams.

The recipe is for Neck Fillet, but we used cubed leg of lamb and cooked it for longer.

The lamb is cooked in the oven with onions, carrots, swede, white wine, rosemary, bay leaves and lamb stock.  The dumplings are cooked separately in lamb stock at the end and the meal is garnished with parsley.

We opened a bottle of The Governor’s Petit Verdot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, an Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.2015-02-28 17.50.15

The wine was rich and smooth with blackcurrants, red fruits and vanilla sweetness on the finish to complement the carrots and swedes.  A very good match with the meal.

The following day we enjoyed the leftovers with a bottle of Ribero del Duero Tempranillo Reserva 2009, a full-bodied Spanish red from Tesco‘s Finest range.2015-03-01 14.27.44

We again tasted vanilla sweetness, but this time there was spiciness and flavours of plums and blackcurrants.  The wine was an equally good match with the lamb.

French Preferred to Spanish Red with a Navarin of Lamb

IMG_0608We had a family meal and cooked Navarin of Lamb from the Slow Cook Book.

This springtime stew contains cubed lamb, baby onions, tomato puree, ground cloves, bouquet garni, stock, small new potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, baby carrots, french beans and a parsley garnish.  To be honest we have tasted better Lamb Navarin recipes.  This one was a bit bland for us.

We paired two red wines with this dish.  First, The Society’s Corbières 2012, a full-bodied Southern French red blend of Carignan and Grenache from the Wine Society.  We tasted strawberry fruits and a sweetness that had an affinity with the turnips and carrots.  We found the finish smooth.  A good match.

Second up was a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2008, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  The wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo and the black fruits and chocolatey edge were also good with the stew.   However, we all thought the Corbières was the better match.

A Rioja Crianza is an Excellent Match with Jamie’s Lamb Fricassée

It had been a while since we cooked Lamb Fricassée from Jamie Does.  The lamb cubes are cooked with onions, garlic, lettuce, dill, seasoning and Greek yoghurt.  The lovely rich Greek flavours are enhanced by mixing in avgolemono (egg yolks and lemon). We served this with little roast potatoes.  We love this meal and by the time I remembered to take a photo we’d eaten half of it.

See here and here for previous pairings with this recipe. We’ve also tried a bottle of the Sunday Time’s Wine Club‘s The Hundred Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011 with it and that was a very good match.  (See here for another food pairing for this wine.)

This time though we opened a bottle of The Society’s Rioja Crianza 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine SocietyIMG_0534. We detected red fruits on the nose followed by flavours of red fruits, vanilla oakiness and a creamy smoothness, with soft tannins.  This was an excellent match with the meal and probably the best we have achieved so far.