Posts Tagged ‘wine pairings


Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Yet another great Jacques Pepin recipe from Food and Wine.  All in all, the recipe was fantastic, came out very flavorful and rich.

I had to modify the recipe slightly because Lund’s grocery store surprisingly didn’t have a couple of the items I needed:  flatiron steak and pancetta. Here are the ingredient changes I made:

-Substituted sirloin for flatiron steak.
-Substituted thick-cut bacon for pancetta.

Following are the process changes I made:

-Cooked the meat in the wine in the oven for one hour instead of 1.5.  Still, it came out drier than I would have hoped.

-Cooked the bacon in the pan for the vegetables, then added the vegetables to the bacon when it was crispy.  Relied on the grease from the bacon drippings rather than adding olive oil.

I served this over white rice with crusty Italian peasant bread on the side, and garnished it with thyme sprigs.  One other thing – my husband hates mushrooms and I love them, so I kept them in the recipe and just didn’t put any on his plate. They do add a lot of flavor.  The wine I used in the stew was La Playa 2006 Merlot from the Colchagua Valley of Chile.


Sirloin Sliders with Cave-Aged Cheddar and Onion Jam with Sweet Potato Fries

These mini-burgers came from a Food and Wine recipe for Stilton Sirloin Burgers with Onion Jam from the Bar at the Peninsula in Chicago.  According to the Food and Wine write-up, “During the daily Gentleman’s Retreat Tea, these juicy mini cheeseburgers are served with a glass of The Peninsula’s house bourbon and a cigar.”

The main tweak I made was to use local Minnesota cave-finished cheddar – Fini Extra Sharp from the Caves at Faribault.  The onion jam was tasty, but the recipe made about twice as much as was needed for eight mini-burgers.  For buns, I used small rolls from the grocery store bakery.

Sweet potato fries were a great accompaniment to the sliders.  I like Alexia frozen sweet
potato fries for a quick and easy side.

I used Dynamite Vineyards 2006 North Coast Zinfandel in the red onion jam and served
it with the meal.  Zinfandel is a great match for burgers and other grilled foods.


Penne with Grilled Vegetables, Grilled Chicken and White Wine Sauce

I came up with this recipe to use the various ingredients I had on hand: penne, chicken breast, red peppers, zucchini, red onion, garlic and Parmesan.

1 red pepper
1 medium zucchini
½ inch thick slice of red onion
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
12 oz. cooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup half-and-half
Seasoned salt, salt and pepper
¾ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat the grill on high heat.  Chop the red pepper, zucchini and onion into roughly one-inch pieces.  Toss in a bowl with olive oil and seasoned salt such as Lawry’s.  Seal the vegetables in a large packet of foil and place on the grill. Cook 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through.  Season chicken breasts with seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper.  Grill until done, 15-20 minutes, turning once.  Cut cooked chicken breasts into bite-size pieces.

Melt butter in an extra-large skillet.  Add garlic and sautee 2 minutes over medium heat.  Add white wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half.   Whisking constantly with a wire whisk, VERY SLOWLY add half-and-half, stirring so it doesn’t curdle. Cook for 1-2 minutes so mixture reduces and thickens slightly.  Add pasta, grilled vegetables, chicken, ½ cup parmesan, and parsley, mixing thoroughly with sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately. Sprinkle additional parmesan on top of each serving.  Serves 4-6.

Wine: I used La Joya Sauvignon Blanc from Chile to cook this dish and also served it with the meal.


Pasta Bolognese

I love to make this recipe when cooler weather rolls around.  It takes over an hour to cook, so it’s one of those dishes with deep, rich flavor.  The Pasta Bolognese recipe I used is from Food and Wine.

I didn’t make major changes to the recipe, just a few minor tweaks based on ingredient availability:

1)  I didn’t have veal, so I just used ground beef and ground pork.

2)  I didn’t have canned whole tomatoes, but I did have tomato puree, so I used that instead. Another Bolognese recipe I’ve seen uses the puree, so I figured it would work out ok.

3)  I didn’t have chicken stock or broth, so I used beef bouillon instead.

4)  I grated some Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on the dish when it’s ready.   I put the Parmesan rind in the sauce while it cooked to add flavor and then removed it when the sauce was ready.

The Food and Wine recipe makes 8-10 servings and there were just 2 of us, so I made a much smaller amount of the penne pasta and froze the extra sauce.  Since this dish takes a while to cook, it’s really nice to be able to pull a batch out of the freezer at short notice.


We drank Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 with this dish.  Zinfandel, Shiraz, Barbera or Chianti would all probably work with Bolognese.

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