Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tasting Good

I wouldn't say I'm in a rut when it comes to wine, but I prefer white no matter the meal. In the dead of winter, I like a nice, buttery Chardonnay. In the summer, a crisp Riesling goes with anything. And in general, a light Pinot Grigio goes down just fine.

But lately I've been thinking about combining certain wines with certain foods. I guess it's all the tasting menus I've been indulging in the last few months. And just when the subject was firmly on the brain, we got a shipment from the wine club we belong to, and each bottle came with a card suggesting a corresponding meal. One of the bottles, Charles Smith Syrah, suggested lamb. I happened to have a lamb roast in the fridge, so here's what I did:

I chopped a bunch of vegetables—potatoes, onions, celery, carrots and leeks—and dumped them into an iron roasting pot. I threw in some minced garlic and then a batch of the dried herb mixture I like to use—a combination of paprika, oregano, basil, thyme, Kosher salt, onion powder—and mixed it all thoroughly. Then I doused it all with some Malbec from the night before and beef broth, and I added the lamb roast that I had seared on all sides in hot oil. I slapped on the lid and roasted the mix at 375˚ for about an hour. It was a small roast, so it didn't need much longer than that.

I whisked in some flour and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, and served what became a very rich and flavorful stew with Charles Smith Syrah. It was all very nice.

For the longest time, I have determined our weekly menus by either choosing recipes from one cookbook or another, or I have filled the shopping cart with what looked good at the meat market on shopping day. I think that for awhile, I might be determining the week's menus based on wine pairing suggestions.

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