Friday, 12 February 2010

Beef and wine food matching evening.

A quick precis of the menu and wines that I was matching with them at my last Beef and Wine evening.

The goal here is to look at various ways of cooking and serving Beef and then matching these with suitable wines. But more than that, explaining the process that went behind the choice of the wines, and expounding my own personal theory of why food and wine make such intruiging partners. Possibly also meandering into my own personal views on what constitutes beauty, and why certain things taste better than others.

24 hour cold infusion of Jasmine Green tea, this is just to cleanse the palette and get one thinking about delicacy and complexity.

Carpaccio served with a Jasmine and Orange water dressing
Here I'm looking at showing the delicacy of fillet, from grass fed cattle the subtlety of perfume and flavour. The matching wine will be a Condrieu, the meat isn't cooked and is very lean so there is no need for anything big and tannic, the heady honeysuckle and ripe peach scented fruit that dominates the perfume of the condrieu is the linkage flavour with the dressing.

Veal Sweetbreads served on toast with a beurre noisette, this is matched with a 2006 Pernand Vergelesses 1er cru Ile de Vergelesses from Domaine Bonneau de Martray. Here there is an extra element of complexity due to the sweetbreads being poached in milk which is flavoured with herbs, then they're pan fried in butter and oil. The minerally nuttiness of the wine is what created the harmonics of flavour with the beurre noisette sauce.

Espresso of Beef consomme with veal and ham hock faggots, this I'm serving with Saintsbury Pinot Noir. The intense jammy fruit that is the core of the wine matches well with the rich and mouth coating beefiness of the double reduced consomme, in effect giving the wine an extra dimension.

Estouffade de Boeuf, here we start to look at the effects of Umami in a dish as there is very slowly cooked tomatoes in the sauce, also the sauce is flavoured with Lavender and made with white wine, this along with the slow cooked nature of the dish means that I can match a lighter red. My choice being either the Prats and Symington Post Scriptum Douro red as it shows beautiful flavours of perfumed cherries, dark fruits and a particular note of crushed violets. It is this slightly exotic perfume that plays with the Lavender in the sauce to consummate the marriage of wine and dish.

Roast Beef, here I'm playing a little with the possibilities inherent in the cooking process, not only is the wine marinaded for a long time in quite powerful wine, it then has the wine and cooking liquor re injected into the meat while the meat in resting. With this I have chosen to serve the Montsant Cabrida Garnatxa VV, as it's powerful licorice infused morello cherry and earth like nose make a nice complement to the marinade, also as the beef has been seared prior to roasting there is the added matter of the maillard related characters, these are interestingly matched by the effect of oak ageing, particularly when new oak has been used.

Tower of Beef cheek with truffled mash and an alsation bacon crisp, beef cheek is extremely full flavoured so I've chosen quite a full bodied rich red, as there isn't a great deal of fat in the dish, I've also gone for something with softish tannins as I don't want them to grate on the palette, however the aromatic linkage that I'm looking to capitalise on is the garnish of very smoky alsatian bacon with matches beautifully to the earthy smoky edge of the Cederberg Shiraz from Stellenbosch.

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