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.

An Italian Barbera is Very Good with a Slow Cooked Beef Stew

2015-03-27 18.51.00We cooked slow-cooked beef, a rich ragù-type dish from the Slow Cook Book.

Cubed stewing beef is cooked with onion, garlic, carrots, celery, red pepper, oregano, paprika, anchovies, orange zest and canned chopped tomatoes.  We served it with tagliatelle and Parmesan cheese sprinkled over.

We paired the stew with an Italian red, Asda‘s Extra Special Barbera d’Asti 2012.

We detected black fruit aromas and there was some acidity on the palate with flavours of cherries, blackberries and plums. There was a slight sweetness on the finish and some affinity with the orange zest in the stew.  A very good match with this beef stew.

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.

A Southern French Red is Good with a Simple Beef Stew

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 someIMG_0597 spiciness.  A good match with the meal.

A Chilean Shiraz is Good with a Spicy West African Beef Stew

2014-03-19 18.34.38We enjoyed one of our favourite Supercook recipes that we hadn’t cooked for a long time. It’s a hot, spicy beef and rice stew from Cameroon called Dos.

The stew contains stewing beef, green chilli, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, ground coriander, onion, tomatoes, green pepper, water and rice.  We served it with green beans.

Whilst the stew has strong spicy flavours it tastes completely different from a curry.

To pair with the stew we chose a bottle of Viña Maipo Shiraz 2012, a full-bodied Chilean red from Tesco.

There were blackberry aromas and this was followed through on the palate with black fruits, vanilla sweetness and chocolate spiciness. The pairing improved as the meal progressed and overall we thought it was a good match.

Red Bordeaux and Chilean Cabernet Both Good with a Beef Daube

We tried Allegra McEvedy’s Daube of Beef recipe from Economy Gastronomy.  Cubed braising steak is cooked with shallots, bay leaves, lardons, thyme, garlic, red wine, beef stock and a tin of beef consommé.  Unusually for a daube the recipe did not call for marinating the meat beforehand.

We served the daube with mashed potato and curly kale.  Whilst we found the recipe pleasant, we didn’t detect as much depth of flavour as more traditional daubes we have cooked .

We thought a Bordeaux should be a good pairing with the dish and opened a bottle of Chateau Grand Bireau 2008, a medium to full bodied red from the Sunday Times Wine Club. We enjoyed the plum and blackcurrant flavours and smooth tannins of this Merlot-based blend.  A good match with the meal.IMG_0436

The next evening we finished the remainder of the daube, which had been thickened with cornflour and the flavours had also intensified a bit.

This time we chose to pair it with a bottle of Los Gansos Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Cono Sur, a Chilean red from the Wine Society.

This wine delivered blackcurrants, plums, with some spiciness and smooth vanilla.  Another good match.

Finding a Decent Red Wine Pairing with a Slow-Cooked Beef and Barley Stew Proves Difficult

For a warming winter meal we tried Beef with Barley and Mushrooms from the Slow Cook Book.  This is braising steak slow cooked with bouquet garni, beef stock, carrots, celery, mushrooms and pearl barley. We served this with mashed potatoes and crusty bread.

Earthy flavours and we thought the earthiness of a Pinot Noir would fit the bill, so we tried a bottle of Brancott Estate Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011, a medium-bodied New Zealand red from Costco. Nothing wrong with this wine, but it clashed horribly and was quickly set aside.

Next up was a bottle of Chateau Rouquette sur Mer, La Clape 2011, a medium-bodied Lanquedoc red blend IMG_0406IMG_0408from the Wine Society.

This was smooth, rich with red fruits and slightly peppery.  This was also a good wine but it proved no more than an adequate match with the meal.

All in all a disappointing food and wine pairing experience and frankly we found the flavours of the dish somewhat muted.  We will not be doing this one again.

A Chilean Merlot is Very Good with a Beef Goulasch

We enjoyed a favourite Goulasch recipe from Supercook.  It is beef stewing steak cooked with onions, garlic, paprika, bay leaf, potatoes and sour cream and is simple and easy to make.

We have found Merlots often go well with Goulasch and opened a bottle of The Society’s Chilean Merlot 2011, a full bodied red from the Wine Society.

The wine was very smooth with dark plum fruits, vanilla sweetness,IMG_0567 with an underlying spiciness that complemented the stew.  A very good match.

Two Italian Reds Ideal for a Tuscan Beef Stew

We had friends to stay for the weekend and cooked one of our favourite recipes from the Slow Cook Book – Tuscan Beef Stew.  We served this lovely peppery stew with mashed potatoes and green beans.  See here for a full description of the stew and a Tuscan red that was a perfect pairing with it.

This time we tried an Italian red blend brought by our guests – Oronzo Uno Rosso Puglia 2009, from Virgin Wines.  This was smooth with plums, red cherry fruits and vanilla.  One of our guests detected damsons.  The wine was a good match with the meal.

We also opened a bottle of Saracosa Rosso di Toscana 2009, a Tuscan Sangiovese from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  As before, we enjoyed its smooth black fruits and spiciness and also detected chocolate.  IMG_0546A lovely match.

A Bordeaux Red is Very Good with a French Beef Daube

It was time to return to an all time favourite recipe, Supercook’s Boeuf en Daube. See here for a previous wine pairing with this lovely stew of beef marinated in red wine and cooked with bacon, mushrooms and the marinade. We served it with jacket potatoes.

We have often found Cabernet/Merlot blends go well with beef cooked in red wine and so we opened a bottle of Waitrose’s Chilean Cabernet/Merlot.  We were not happy with this and set it aside.

We then opened a bottle of Chateau de Camblanc Médoc 2009, a Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  This full-bodied, Merlot dominated red gave cherries on the nose and cherries and black fruits on the palate, with a long, full, slightly spicy finish.  A good IMG_0236.JPG (2)wine and a very good match with the daube.