Posts Tagged ‘Shiraz’
If your dinners during the work week have been nothing but salads, limp spaghetti with watery tomato sauce or anything with “Mc” in the name, then its time to treat yourself to a big old juicy piece of steak this weekend. It’s just starting to get warm outside, which means its time to fire up the grill and have the smell of a great dinner drive your neighbors insane with envy.
There’s nothing too complicated about this recipe – it’s just a piece of All-American beef with some red wine sauce on it…or for those who speak in “foo foo poo poo” terms – filet mignon with Chianti sauce. Why filet? Because you’re treating yourself, that’s why. So here’s what you’ll need and what you’ll need to do for this recipe:
Filet mignon steak (you deserve it!)- quantity equal to the number of people you are serving. Be gentle with the seasonings though – there’s a wine recommendation that I’ll give you to pair with this steak dish and you’ll definitely NOT want your steak to overpower the awesome wine. As for the steak “rub”, sprinkle on a bit of kosher salt, garlic powder, cumin, and caraway. Caraway? Yeah, I saw it in the cabinet and was feeling a bit “nutty” (pun intended) so I used it. That’s it. If you let it sit for a while before grilling, the spices will have a chance to mingle a bit with the steak. But if you’re in a hurry and starving to death then get thee meat to thy grill. Cook meat to desired doneness and remove from grill.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet. Cook a chopped medium onion until soft. Throw in 1/4 pound pancetta (TIP: Trader Joes sells a nice 1/4lb container of pancetta…already chopped) and 1/2lb of sliced mushrooms (Note: if shrooms aren’t your thing or you’re not trying to please some fungus loving guests, then leave them out). Cook it all up for a couple minutes. Next, pour in: 1/3 cup beef broth, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, and 1/2 cup of red wine (I used a Syrah/Malbec blend from a bottle that was already open-yeah yeah, the recipe called for Chianti, but I didn’t have any, IMPROVISE people, IMPROVISE). Bring all this to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. This recipe may seem a bit “complicated” but trust me, it’s really not – I could have summarized it by giving you a list of the 7 ingredients and saying “throw them all into a skillet, bring it all to a boil, and then let it simmer”.
When your steaks are done grilling, put them into the sauce, cover the pan, and let the filets soak up some of that sauce.
As a side, you can take a couple potatoes (plan on 1 per person), slice in half, and then cut the halves again so you’ve got some “fries”. Coat with olive oil, sprinkle on some kosher salt. Cook in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes (note the time – probably want to start these before you start grilling your steaks) or until brown and slightly crispy. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and parsley when you take them out of the oven.
So now for that wine to pair with your meat and potatoes dinner (can I get a caveman or Tim the Toolman grunt?). Try the Shingleback Shiraz (Australia) circa 2005. You can find a review of this wine in yesterday’s post (5/2/09). As Emeril LeGasse would say – “BAM!” If your local wine retailer doesn’t carry the 2005 Shingleback Aussie Shiraz, then give this recipe a go with another ball-buster Shiraz from either the Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale wine region in Australia. Expect to pay about $20 for an Aussie red with some real gusto.
Price: A Little Time with a Used Car Salesman
One of our WineLife365 family members recently made a pit stop at a local wine store looking for a killer red wine for us to drink with some filet mignon and the Men’s Final Four NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Below is the story of her journey to find a Cinderella winner in a sea of red wine contenders:
It started out by first being accosted in the store by one of the wine guys. I don’t like being accosted while shopping. Especially while shopping for wine. Furthermore, I don’t speak “wine-ese”. So, I just don’t like talking to wine guys that try to sell me a bottle of wine while speaking “wine-ese”. So the wine guy comes over and first asks me if I need some help. I tell him “no, I’m just looking”. He goes away….for a minute…then he’s back – like an annoying gnat that I just want to squish between my fingers. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him pointing to some bottle, his lips were moving and sayyyying…I don’t know what he was saying, because he was speaking in “wine-ese” not English. Having had enough of this used car salesman, I said, “Tell you what chief, you CAN help me – I’m looking for something peppery and spicy that will knock you on your ass. Do you have something?”. He responds by asking me, “How much are you looking to spend?”. I told my new buddy -$20 bucks. His eyes lit up like I had said $200. He tells me he’s got JUST the thing for me…I’m sensing used car salesman. But he heads off in the direction of the “Australia” aisle…or maybe it was technically the “Shiraz” aisle. I don’t yet have my PhD, so I don’t have the capability to figure out how this local wine merchant (name removed to protect the innocent) organizes their wines. I digress. We were in the Shiraz aisle and he points me to a bottle that has a goofy tag next to it that says “Joe Blow’s Pick!!” and a picture of Salesperson Joe Blow – that was definitely not a factor in my buying decision. So here’s what I ended up buying – 2005 Shingleback Shiraz from the Mclaren Vale region in Australia that cost me a 20-spot (or technically $19.99).
What did the WineLife365 family think of the 2005 Shingleback Shiraz?
It tasted just like the wine guy said it would, it was REALLY good. It was peppery, spicy and knocked us on our asses. Check, check, check. Sometimes accepting some advice from a store’s wine staff can really pay off. These guys, in most cases, have had the opportunity to test drive a lot of the wines on their store’s shelves.
Verdict: $20 bucks is a little bit more than we normally spend on a bottle of wine, but it was for a good cause…grilled filet mignon and the Final Four! If you’re looking for a red wine that will slap you on both cheeks and screams like a Drill Sergeant in your ear “You WILL drink this!” Then this wine is for you. It ain’t wimpy.
WineLife365 Rating: 4-Star