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Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

Rating: 5/5

A 1lb New York Strip steak cooked for 3hrs Sous Vide in butter, shallots and thyme then browned on the skillet.  Side of (who cares really when you have a piece of meat that good?) sauteed kale and mushrooms.

Wine: Dusted Valley Stained Tooth Syrah 2009

Notes: 

There are many ways to cook a steak, but only a small few if you want it to be delicious.  My preferred method is to use a combination of iron skillet and in-oven cooking.  However, if you have the time, I recommend venturing into sous vide territory.  The expression literally means ‘under vaccuum’ and is generally how a lot of of high-end restaurants do their exquisite pieces of meat.  You seal the meat up with a fat (butter in this case) and some assorted herbs and spices to your liking, remove all air and then submerge the package into water that is the exact temperature that you want the meat done at for however long it takes to cook the meat (An hour per inch thickness at minimum is a good rule of thumb, but you can let it sit in there for as long as you want).  Don’t forget to reserve the juices for dipping after! Now, the high-end restaurants have very expensive contraptions that make this process insanely easy, but with a little McGuyver-ing you can do it with a heavy duty freezer back, a big pot and a temperature probe.  There are plenty of on-line resources for this one so have at it and for a special treat, try poaching an egg sous vide style.  But back to the wine and food experience!

The steak was cooked to a medium-rare level which is how I like them and was oh-so-tender with a dash of finishing salt just before I dove into it.  The wine was a big, fruit-forward Syrah from the lovely folks at Dusted Valley with plenty of tannin and acid which was all beginning to come together nicely here at the beginning of 2012.  I’ve been loving the Washington state Syrahs these days and this is no exception.  The base of this wine is Syrah and Viognier, the blend that originated and was made popular by Northern Rhone.  This blend is also doing spectacularly down in Aussie-land as I’ve featured before.  However, Dusted Valley takes a quick trip down to Southern Rhone and blend in some small amounts of Grenache and Counoise which gives it a bit more depth.  Any remaining tannin that would have stuck out was absolved by the light salt application and you are left with are the dark fruits and a bit of earthiness working with the mushrooms.  Simple meal, wonderful results.  For the steak lover, this is pretty much the tops.

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Rating: 4/5

Paella made with sun-dried tomato chicken sausage, scallops, shrimp, mixed peppers, chili beans, white rice, garlic, mushrooms and fresh sage.

Wine: Pétalos Bierzo 2006

Notes:

Paella happens to be one of my favorite dishes of all time.  The peppers I use generally change from time to time and if I add beans, they’re usually just red and not chili.  However, it’s hard to mess Paella up and the pepper mix of cayenne and serrano pulled in a good deal of heat.  The fresh sage was a first time addition and definitely a keeper since it provided a wonderful refreshment in the middle of the dish.  Generally, I’ll pair this with a Tempranillo or Monastrell, but the Bierzo (grape: Mencía) was something new so I opted for it.  Bierzo is complex as it sifts between something like a Tempranillo in the leather and tannin and then towards something fruitier with it’s red fruits with hints of minerality and herbs.  It packs a punch though.  The mouthfeel on this was like a semi flowing through your mouth.  Oddly, this made a great pairing with a spicy dish that probably would have prompted sweat without its aid.

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