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Wine Can Make The Dish!

Posted on: July 17th, 2013

Ah, the wonders of wine like the one on that wine tour. Not only a fabulous drink with food, wine is equally stunning in the kitchen, marring various aspects of a dish or meal like few other ingredients can. The two written / video recipes below offer some excellent examples of how a little wine can MAKE the dish in my wine macerated Dessert Wine Peaches with ice cream and Gorgonzola Chopped Steak with Red Wine Onions.

Save aged wine for drinking, young fruit-forward wines for cooking.

Wine Macerated Peaches
The first recipe in the video is a quickie for stone fruits macerated (softened) in sweet wine with fresh basil and served with iced or whipped cream – perfect for the nice nectarines and peaches in our markets this and next month.

Gorgonzola Chopped Steak with Red Wine Onions
The second video recipe is for lamb patties with sautéed onions finished with red wine and demi-glace over simple boil and serve potato dumplings. This would also be outstanding over mashed potatoes, roesti, Creamy Cheese Polenta or on a toasted bun (for a bun, I suggest squares of our ciabatta grill-toasted with garlic butter!)

The Right Meat
I think this dish is at it’s best with our ground lamb (try it, you’ll like it!), but it’s also great with ground beef, bison, elk or venison. For the absolute best taste and juiciness I recommend ground meat about 70-80% lean, if it’s too darn lean it can turn out dry. If you prefer super lean, consider doubling the red wine onions to keep the entree moist. Other delicious meat options include our Tony’s Homemade Bacon Blue Cheese Patties, a small Rib Eye or Filet Mignon, or even thin slices of tri-tip, London broil or even Tony’s Deli Roast Beef (what an amazing sandwich that would be!)

Wine Notes
Start a simple cellar today for special occasions in the future, trust me, you’ll be so glad you did! All you need is a couple wine boxes on their side in a quiet corner of the basement or internal closet. Choose one bottle suitable for aging with every 10-12 bottles you buy to drink sooner. When it’s time to serve, consider pouring the aged or most complex wines first (while your taste buds are at their best and your head the clearest), pouring younger and more fruit-forward wines as the evening progresses. Cook with young wines and save your aged wines for drinking.

Video Note: There was a minor editing error in the video and a couple sauce steps were overlooked, but you can get all the step-by-step details in the recipe below.

Gorgonzola Chopped Steak w/ Red Wine Onions
A nicely spiced patty with melted Gorgonzola served over red wine onions and buttered spaetzle, also great with mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or on a bun like a burger. 

1–1.5 LBS ground lamb, beef or bison
– or 4 Tony’s Blue Cheese Bacon Burgers
Seasoning: Tony’s Z Blend Seasoning Calgary Steak Rub, Spring Lamb and Bison Rub, Euro-Crust, or your favorite blend
2 medium red onions, sliced
1 TBS EA butter and olive oil, as needed
one 1.5 oz. pkg More Than Gourmet Demi Glace
¾-1 cup Red Zinfandel, to taste, or your favorite red wine
4-6 oz. creamy Gorgonzola (not crumbles, room temp)
Pats of butter (optional)
1 package boil and serve Spaetzle, or mashed potatoes, polenta or rolls
2-4 TBS minced fresh parsley (optional)

Shape meat into patties and season to taste; I think our Z Blend, Calgary Steak Rub and Spring Lamb and Bison Rub (with mint) is the best choice with this recipe. Keep patties refrigerated until ready to cook. Preheat a medium to medium-high grill.

Slice onions while you melt butter with olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Sauté onions to brown well and soften, add red wine, boil and turn down to a simmer, cooking to reduce wine by half (sorry, this step accidentally was omitted from the video).

Meanwhile, make demi glace according to package directions, add to onions and simmer to marry – keep warm. Just before serving, swirl in pats of butter – optional, but wow!

Grill patties until almost done, top with Gorgonzola and close the lid to melt.

Toss spaetzle with a pat or two of butter and some fresh minced parsley and then separate to four plates. Spoon sauce evenly on top, add patty and serve – great with a fresh green salad, grilled asparagus and toasted ciabatta bread.

For burgers, brush buns (preferably ciabatta) with garlic butter and toast on grill. Assemble on buns with red wine onions on top, arugula or lettuce leaves would also be nice, or better yet serve with a green salad with Balsamic or Caesar dressing. – Chef Mick Rosacci – http://www.tonysmarket.com  http://www.tonyrosaccicatering.com – http://www.trsbbq.com

Chef’s Notes: If you are crazy about red wine onions, double that portion of the recipe and hope for leftovers!  As for a dish to serve on the side, try this delicious Marinated Tomato Salad Recipe.

Dessert Wine Peaches
1/2 cup sweet white dessert wine
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, minced and crushed
2 tablespoons honey
3-4 ripe peaches or nectarines, thinly sliced (peeled or skin on)

In a large glass bowl, combine the wine, basil and honey.  Add the peaches or nectarines and let macerate at room temperature for 1-2 hour.  Refrigerate for at least 1 or up to 4 hours before serving.  Serve in wine glasses with iced or whipped cream.  Biscotti and coffee would be a lovely accompaniment.

Chef’s Note: The video gives tips for using a regular wine with a little sugar, honey or agave nectar added if you don’t have any dessert wine.


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