A Great Pairing for Red Bean & Lamb Casserole is Elusive

It’s been a long time since we cooked Red Bean and Lamb Casserole, a Supercook favourite. It’s an adaptation of an Iranian dish.

Cubed lamb is casseroled in chicken stock with onions, garlic, tomatoes, kidney beans, turmeric, salt, pepper, lemon juice, coriander and mint. Yoghurt is stirred in at the end and the dish is garnished with parsley. We served with mashed potato and roasted courgettes.

We initially tried to pair the meal with Glorioso Crianza Rioja 2011, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine Society, but surprisingly the flavours of the lamb casserole did the wine no favours, so we set the wine aside.

We thought a wine with more sweetness might be better and opted for a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red that is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. We last enjoyed this with a lamb korma.

We detected intense red fruits on the nose with vanilla sweetness, black and red fruits and a slight mocha finish.  A good match, but we have enjoyed better pairings with this wine.2016-01-30 18.07.10

For the leftovers we decided to switch to a bottle of Prospector Shiraz 2013, a full-bodied Australian red from Naked Wines that we had enjoyed previously with a beef carbonnade.

We detected black fruits on the nose with vanilla sweetness and intense red and black fruits on the palate. The finish was smooth, peppery and spicy. The wine was a slightly better match than the Rioja, but we were left wondering what wine would have been a really good match.

Spanish or Australian Red with Slow-Cooked Lamb Korma?

On a cold rainy January day there is nothing better than something cooked in our crockpot and Lamb Korma from the Slow Cook Book was ideal.

Cubed lamb is fried with onions, ginger, garlic and a spice mixture of dried red chillies, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, cumin, mace and paprika.  The lamb is then slow-cooked with yoghurt and a little salt.  Double cream is stirred through towards the end of cooking.  The korma is then garnished with coriander and served with pilau rice.  We mopped up the sauce with naan bread.  Delicious.

We opened a bottle of The Hundred Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011, a full-bodied Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  There was an initial sweetness, followed by intense blackcurrant fruits and a smooth, spicy finish. The wine was a good match with the korma, but we have enjoyed better pairings with this wine, such as this one.2016-01-01 17.31.00

However, we managed to improve on the pairing with the leftovers.  We opened a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  This wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo.

We loved its sweet, creamy smooth vanilla red fruits, with a lovely savouriness on the finish.  A very good match with the korma.

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 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 Gran Reserva Goes Well with Lamb Ratatouille

IMG_0254.JPG (2)Lamb Ratatouille from the Slow Cook Book is a good recipe. The lamb is tossed in cumin and chilli and cooked in red wine and stock.  The garlic, onion, peppers and aubergine are cooked later and stirred in for the last hour of slow cooking. The meal is served with rice.

We decided on a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  The wine is made from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo.  We detected sweet vanilla on the nose and tasted complex, spicy, smooth black and red fruits.  A good match with the lamb.