Aussie Red Better Pairing than Rioja with Turkish Lamb Stew

We enjoyed Rick Stein’s “From Venice to Istanbul” tv programme last year and we tried his Lamb Kleftiko. A couple of very good pairings with that dish can be found here.

This time we cooked his rich Turkish lamb stew with aubergine purée (Hunkar begendi).

Boned lamb shoulder is cooked with red pepper paste, tomato paste, onion, garlic, green chilli, green pepper, tomatoes, oregano and seasoning. The lamb stew is served on a bed of aubergine purée made from mashed aubergine, milk, flour, Parmesan, lemon juice and seasoning. We served with flatbread.

We opened a bottle of Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva from the Co-op.  A previous bottle of this medium-bodied Spanish red was very good with lamb chops.

There were black fruits on the nose, a vanilla sweetness with mocha and sweet black fruits on the palate. A good match with the meal, but we thought the flavours in the aubergine purée may have detracted a little from the pairing.2016-01-15 18.01.11

We finished off the leftovers with a bottle of Dark Corner Durif Shiraz 2014, a full-bodied Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club. We chose this wine because it had previously made a very good match with lamb meatballs in tomato sauce.

There were brambly fruits on the nose, vanilla sweetness on the palate, with blackberry fruit and a milk chocolate and coffee mocha finish. The Shiraz was a better match than the Rioja with this particular combination of Turkish lamb stew and aubergine purée.

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.

Two Reds Not Enhanced by Autumn Game Casserole

We fancied trying Autumn game casserole from the Slow Cook Book.  Mixed game meat such as pheasant, venison and rabbit are slow cooked with onion, carrot, parsnip, fennel and mushrooms in cider and chicken stock.  We garnished with chopped parsley and served with mashed potato.

We weren’t sure what to expect and what would be a good wine pairing.  Whilst there were pleasant savoury and sweet flavours in the casserole, our next using game will involve a red wine sauce.

We sampled two reds with the dish.  The first was The Hundred Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011, a favourite of ours from the Sunday Times Wine Club.IMG_2187.JPG

This full bodied Australian red delivered a slight sweetness, black fruits and a smooth finish, but its flavours were not enhanced by the pairing. See here and here for some better pairings for this wine.

The next wine was a bottle of Castillo de Viñas Crianza, Rioja 2012, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine Society made from 90% IMG_2188-0.jpgTempranillo and 10% Graciano.

We detected red fruits on the nose, with flavours of strawberries and a creamy vanilla finish.  A marginally better match, but not great.


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

A Red Rioja is Very Good with Baked Lamb Chops

For a midweek meal we tried the Lamb Chop Bake recipe from the All Recipes UK website.

Lamb chops are sprinkled with rosemary and seasonings and baked with potato wedges, carrots and courgettes. We added some aubergines too. A stock made from a lamb stock cube and tomato purée is poured over. A yummy recipe.

Riojas are usually reliably good with lamb chops. (See here for a great pairing).  We opened a bottle of Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Co-op.

We detected black fruits on the nose, followed by vanilla oak sweetness on the palate, with creamy black cherries and tobacco hints on the finish.  The wine was a very good match with the baked lamb chops. 


French and Spanish Reds Very Good with Lamb Kleftiko

We’ve been watching Rick Stein’s “From Venice to Istanbul” cookery programme and thought we’d try his lamb kleftiko.  However, we modified the recipe by using lamb shanks instead of leg and we cooked it in the slow cooker.

The lamb shanks were put in the slow cooker along with waxy potatoes, red pepper and tomatoes. We poured lemon juice and olive oil over the lamb and added garlic, oregano and water. We added Feta cheese towards the end. Very tasty.

We decided on a bottle of Christian Moueix Bordeaux 2010, a Merlot-based French red from the Wine Society.  We paired a previous bottle of this wine with lamb shanks and enjoyed it.

There was an initial cherry sweetness followed by flavours of blackberries and dark plums, with smooth tannins.  A very good match with the kleftiko.2015-09-25 19.16.33

We enjoyed the leftovers a couple of days later and tried a bottle of Momo Ribero del Duero 2010, a full-bodied Spanish red also from the Wine Society.

This Tempranillo was inky black in the glass with black fruits on the nose.  We tasted vanilla sweetness and black fruits from this powerful and smooth wine.  It was almost as good with the lamb as the Bordeaux.2015-09-27 19.06.10

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

A Spanish Tempranillo is Very Good with Delia’s Pork Stroganoff

2015-05-27 18.48.13A few months ago we discovered three Pork Stroganoff recipes online and wine pairings with the first two can be found here and here.

This one is Pork Stroganoff with Three Mustards from Delia online.  Sliced pork is cooked in a sauce made from mustard powder, grain mustard, Dijon mustard, mushrooms, Crème fraîche, onion, dry white wine and seasoning.  We served with tagliatelle rather than rice.

Our verdict on this Stroganoff is that it is better than Mary Berry’s but not as enjoyable as Jo Pratt’s.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Seleccion del la Familia Carlos 2011, a medium-bodied Spanish Tempranillo from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We detected red fruits and spices on the nose and this was followed by vanilla sweetness, spiciness, strawberries and red cherries on the palate, with a smooth finish.

A very good match with the Pork Stroganoff.

French and Spanish Reds Both Great with Sauté d’Agneau

We cooked Sauté d’Agneau (Lamb Sauté) from Supercook.2015-05-01 17.40.40

Cubed lamb is casseroled with onions, celery, tomato purée, grated lemon rind, mushrooms, red wine and beef stock.  We served the lamb with Dauphinoise potatoes and mushy peas.

We chose a bottle of Chateau Mont Gueydon 2005, a red Bordeaux from the Sunday Times Wine Club to pair with the meal.  This Cabernet-based blend delivered black fruits on the nose, followed by predominantly blackcurrant flavours, restrained tannins and vanilla sweetness.  The wine was a very good match with the lamb.2015-05-01 17.46.10

To drink with the leftovers we tried another wine from the Sunday Times Wine Club, Venta Real Grand Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red made from Tempranillo.  This displayed red fruits on the nose and also on the palate, with a spicy vanilla sweetness.  This wine was also a very good match with the lamb.

A Spanish Red Blend is Very Good with Lamb and Mushroom Stew

We cooked an old favourite from Supercook, Lamb and Mushroom Stew.

Cubed lamb is tossed in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and dried rosemary.  The lamb is then stewed with onions, mushrooms, chicken stock and sour cream.  We used a little less sour cream than suggested, but replaced it with some Crème fraîche.

We served the stew with rice and green salad.2015-04-04 18.15.15

We opened a bottle of Fontal Crianza Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We detected powerful fruits on the nose followed by lovely red and black berry fruit flavours, smooth vanilla and a spicy finish.  The wine was a very good match with the lamb.