When I was speaking with Mike about what to post this week, I said “ I think its stew season”, he agreed and suggested a new wine we just got in this week that is perfect for a beef stew and just a little outside of the box. What a great combination a warm familiar and comforting food with a wine that’s not only perfect for it, but mostly undiscovered.
Carménère a member of the Cabernet family of grapes originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce dfeep red wines and occasionally used for blending. Now rarely found in France, the world's largest area planted with this variety is in Chile. Originally thought to be Merlot that was brought over from Bordeaux in the 19th century, but in the mid-1990s, research proved it was not Merlot, but indeed Carmenère, and has started to capture a new audience of wine drinkers.
Quasar, Carmenère, Perfecto Curico Valley 2010
Quasar Wines have been produced since 1930, using estate fruit that is grown using environmentally conscious practices. The vineyards are located in the Curicó Valley, and benefit from intense sunlight, ideal temperatures and pure mountain water from the splendid Andes Mountains. The Quasar, Carmenère, Perfecto, has a deep garnet color, with, inviting aromas of dark cherry, mocha and a subtle note of fresh peppers. This wine is ready to drink with soft fine tannins that surround flavors of dark fruit, spice and fresh herbs with a slight earthy note of dark olive tapenade. Medium/ full in body with 5 years of bottle age this wine is smooth and ready to drink. It’s just a little outside of the box, yet familiar and a pleasure to drink. The Beverage Tasting institute gave the wine a gold medal and a score of 90 points.
So good, come try it and a few others we are sampling this Saturday at Cork from 3pm to 6pm
What you will need:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, large dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 medium carrots
3 medium celery stalks
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup frozen peas.
How to make it:
Place 1/4 cup of the flour and the measured salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Trim the roast of excess fat and sinew and cut it into 1- to 1-1/2-inch cubes. Place the meat in the flour mixture and toss to coat; set aside. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
Shake off the excess flour from about one-third of the meat and add it to the pot. Cook, beef stirring rarely, until browned all over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining meat in 2 more batches; set aside.
Add the onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onion, and cook until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute.
Pour in the wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Return the meat and any accumulated juices in the bowl to the pot. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Every once in a while or when you stir, skim the top of the stew with a shallow kitchen spoon removing the foam and some of the fat. Cut the carrots, celery, and potatoes into large dice and add them to the pot (peel the carrots and potatoes first, if desired). Stir to combine, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and meat are knife tender, about 1 hour more. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Stir in the peas and simmer uncovered until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve with fresh, crusty bread.
Recipe adapted from Chowhound and Lisa Lavery
Cheers, The Wine Guys