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.

South African Red Ideal with Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce

We cooked an old favourite from Supercook and had forgotten how delicious this recipe is.  It’s called pork chops with mustard sauce.

The pork chops are seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika and served with a sauce made from shallots, garlic, mushrooms, French mustard and double cream.

We served with sauté potatoes and green beans with melted garlic butter.

We paired this superb meal with a bottle of Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a full-bodied red from Naked Wines.2016-01-05 17.50.02

We detected black fruits on the nose and flavours of sweet chocolate, blackcurrants, and plums, with an intensely savoury, smooth, slightly spicy finish. We even detected coffee notes.  This lovely wine was an excellent match with the pork.

Aussie & French Reds Great with Beef Carbonnade

2015-12-18 19.02.38We tried Beef Carbonnade from the Slow Cook Book.  Cubed beef is slow-cooked in a mixture of shallots, seasoning, garlic, sugar, nutmeg, bouquet garni and beer.  We used a can of Hobgoblin.

Slices of French bread spread with Dijon mustard are added halfway through the cooking time. These soak into the pot and enhance the gravy.  Parsley is sprinkled over the top at the end and we served the carbonnade with a jacket potato.  A very enjoyable meal.

We opened a bottle of Prospector Shiraz 2013, a full-bodied Australian red from Naked Wines.  There were blackberry fruits on the nose and the palate delivered a creamy vanilla sweetness and rich, smooth black fruits.  The wine was a very good match with the meal.

We enjoyed the leftovers of this carbonnade with a bottle of Reserve de Pierre 2013, a medium-bodied Southern French red also from Naked Wines.  This blend of Grenache and Syrah displayed nice legs in the glass, a red berry creamy sweetness and a smooth finish with a hint of spice.  Another very good match.

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

An Argentinian Malbec is Very Good with Barbecued Sirloin Steak Marchand de Vin

One of our favourite recipes is Bifteck Marchand de Vin, which is beef stew cooked in a red wine sauce.  (See here for a wine pairing with this dish.)  We found a recipe on the Barbecue Bible website called Hanger Steak Marchand de Vin that we thought we might enjoy.

We barbecued sirloin steak instead of hanger.  The Marchand de Vin sauce contains red wine, bacon, shallots, garlic, mushroom, beef stock, parsley, salt and pepper.  We served the steak with sauté potatoes and mushrooms.2015-06-21 14.31.27

We opened a bottle of Mauricio Lorca Angel’s Reserve Malbec 2013, a full-bodied Argentinian red from Naked Wines.  We detected sweet black fruits on the nose and this sweetness followed through on the palate with blackcurrant flavours and a generally smooth finish, with some acidity.  A very good match with the steak.

A German Riesling is Very Good with Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass

We tried Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass from Madhur Jaffrey.

Sliced pork loin is marinated in soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, green chillies, black pepper, sugar and hot curry powder.  The pork is then stir-fried with shallots and garnished with coriander leaves.2015-04-24 18.26.36

We served the pork with prawn crackers and egg noodles stir-fried with garlic, ginger, chilli, fish sauce and chopped coriander. We thought the noodles competed a bit with the flavours of the pork, so served the leftovers with plain noodles, which was better.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Klein Riesling 2013, a German white from Naked Wines. The wine was off-dry with crisp, fresh, tangy, citrussy lemon and grapefruit flavours.  A very good match with the pork.2015-04-24 18.29.54

A Spanish Rueda is Very Good with Jamie’s Chicken in Milk

A friend of ours recommended Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk recipe from his website.

The chicken is cooked in a pot along with cinnamon, sage leaves, lemon zest, garlic cloves and milk.  The result is supposed to be a very succulent chicken and it was. We served with roast potatoes and green beans.2015-01-23 17.49.11

We paired the chicken with a bottle of Villasilos Angel’s Selection Rueda Verdejo 2013, a Spanish white from Naked Wines.

The wine was fresh, crisp with zesty lemon flavours and creamy vanilla to complement the flavours of the food.  A very good match.2015-01-23 17.55.47

A Loire Sauvignon is Excellent with a Chicken Balti

We were looking for a Chicken Balti recipe online and found this one from Spices of India.

Cubed chicken is cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, tomato, green pepper, turmeric, yoghurt, green chilli, cardamon, bay leaf and fresh coriander.  We used Waitrose Balti paste.2014-12-24 18.14.262014-12-24 18.18.53 Spices of India say this recipe is in the authentic British restaurant style.

A very enjoyable curry that we served with rice and parathas.

We opened a bottle of Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a French white from Naked Wines.  We last drank this wine with a West African chicken dish.

As before we tasted apples and minerality, but this time there was more grapefruit coming through on the crisp finish.  An excellent match with the meal and even better than last time.

A Loire Sauvignon is Very Good with Jollof Chicken and Rice

For a straightforward midweek meal we tried Jollof Chicken and Rice from Best Chicken recipes.

This is a well-known West African dish and the version we chose involved cooking chicken pieces with garlic, t2014-12-17 17.35.37hyme, canned tomatoes, tomato purée, onion, chicken stock, dried ground shrimps, green chilli and long-grain rice. A pleasant meal, but we would look to try a more flavoursome version next time.

French Sauvignons are often good with dishes with tomato sauces and we opened a bottle of Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a French white from Naked Wines.

This was crisp with flavours of apples and grapefruit, some minerality and a fresh and tangy finish.  A very good match with the meal.

A Minervois is Very Good with a Minced Beef and Root Vegetable Stew

2014-11-06 18.01.45We enjoyed a home-made warming beef stew that was perfect for a November evening.

We cooked minced beef with carrots, turnip, swedes, potatoes, onion, beef stock , bouquet garni, bay leaves and basil.

Lighter stews like this often pair well with medium-bodied French reds and so we opened a bottle of Benjamin Darnault Minervois 2012, a southern French red blend of Grenache and Syrah from Naked Wines.

We enjoyed the wine’s red fruits and a slight sweetness that had an affinity with the root vegetables.  There was also a little spiciness on the finish.

We thought the wine was a very good match with the stew.