We 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.
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.
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.
Nautical Stew from Supercook might sound like a fish recipe, but it’s a simply-prepared beef stew ideal for those cooking in a yachting galley, or people like me who wanted to cook something with minimal preparation while the wife was away.
Stewing beef is simmered on the hob with onions, paprika, canned tomatoes, baked beans, brandy and fresh sliced red pepper, not tinned as in the recipe. I served it with garlic bread.
I opened a bottle of Lidl Minervois 2012, a medium-bodied French red blend of Syrah and Grenache. It was juicy with raspberry and blackcurrant fruits and some spiciness. A good match with the meal.
We tried Tagliatelle Verde with Bacon and Tomatoes from Supercook. However, we couldn’t find any green tagliatelle in our local shops, so used plain. Never mind.
The sauce for the pasta contains bacon, onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, tarragon, oregano, béchamel sauce and double cream. After combining with the pasta, the mixture is topped with parmesan and breadcrumbs and browned in the oven. This excellent pasta dish is served with crusty bread.
The creaminess in the sauce should have pointed us in the direction of something like a Chardonnay, but some of the flavours in the sauce suggested an Italian red might work and we opened a bottle of the Society’s Chianti Rufina 2011, an Italian red from the Wine Society. This is a good wine, but not quite a good enough match with this particular meal.
We switched to a bottle of Cimarosa California Chardonnay 2012 from Lidl, thinking it should be able to cope with the creamy sauce and it did.
There was a bouquet of tropical fruit and these followed through in the flavours, which were accompanied by pineapple and a smooth, buttery creaminess from the oak. A good match with this meal.
We tried a Chinese recipe from Supercook, Kuo Tieh Chi (Egg-braised Sliced Chicken). The dish had a touch of sweeetness, so I thought we would be safe with a German Pfalz Riesling Halbtrocken 2009 from Lidl. However, this was a surprisingly uninspiring match. I think because the sweet flavours in the dish were overshadowed by the drier, sour elements. We set the Riesling aside and opted for an Isla Negra Merlot Rosé Riserva 2009 from Tesco. This Chilean wine was by no means a brilliant match, but substantially better than the Riesling. It was a crisp wine with a hint of sweetness and plenty of berry fruits coming through. Pleasant enough, but the experience yet again illustrated the challenges for us of achieving good pairings with Chinese food. We find Thai and Indian less problematic.
We tried an interesting recipe from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey. Cambodian Marinated Beef with a Lime and Black Pepper Dipping Sauce. The sauce contained palm sugar and tomato ketchup so we considered red wines were not in the running and neither were most dry whites. We had a hunch that the bottle of Riesling Halbtrocken 2009 from Lidl in the fridge might be OK and it was. It even coped with the flavour combinations from the marinated steak and the lime and pepper dipping sauce. It’s always good to have some medium dry wines around for these type of dishes.