Let's pair some main course with wine(Christmas Recipes part III )

Let's pair some main course with wine(Christmas Recipes part III )

Two facts when it comes to wine & food pairing:

Fact n.1: A congruent pairing creates balance by amplifying shared flavor compounds. For example a bold red wine high in tannins, will be perfect as a palate-cleansing astringent with fatty cuts of meat.


Fact n.2: A contrasting pairing creates balance by contrasting tastes and flavors. For example, meat paired with a high-acidity white wine or a light-body red wine to create the sense of acidity cutting through the delicate texture of the meat.

"Rule" n.1 : think of the wine as a sauce, it's always better to think of pairing the wine with the sauce in the dish and not with the food itself!

PART III : main courses

Chicken with bacon, chicory and pine nuts

Recommended wine: Sanguineto Rosso di Montepulciano DOC 2021

Ingredients for 4:

20-21 oz. / 600 gr. of dandelion or chicory or spinach

8 chicken thighs

8 slices of bacon

1 oz. / 30 gr. of pine nuts

1 orange, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, red pepper (sweet or chilli), white wine

Eliminate the bones and the skin on the chicken’s thighs and wrap them with the bacon slices using toothpicks; place them in a roast pan and season with salt, pepper, pine nuts and olive oil and grill them in the oven at 400°F/200°C. Once browned, add the white wine and cook for another 20-25 minutes.

Clean and wash the chicory, cut it in strips and cook it in a pan with some olive oil, chopped garlic, red pepper and some orange zest, salt and for 10 minutes until the mixture gets soft.

When the chicken is ready and browned, transfer the chicory from the pan in a casserole, place the chicken on top, pour the juice of the orange and stew in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

Duck with tomatoes, mushrooms, herbs and orange sauce

Recommended wine: Scarzello Nebbiolo Langhe DOC 2021

Ingredients for 4:

1 medium size duck - no feathers and no insides and it's cooked better if it's cut into pieces

2.2.lbs / 1 kg. of oranges

1 glass of red wine or cognac

extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, laurel, sea salt, pepper, 3 cloves of garlic

6 red plum tomatoes

5 medium red onions

6 fresh mushrooms

parsley, oregano

Roast the duck in the oven at 400°F / 200°C with the herbs (laurel, garlic, rosemary, sage) a pinch of salt and pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp. of oil and wine or cognac. (Times are usually 1 hour for each 2 lbs of duck or until the internal temperature of the meat is around 140°-150°F). Half way through the cooking, add the juice of the oranges and keep pouring the juices from the casserole over the duck until it is completely cooked.

Cut the onions, the mushrooms and the tomatoes in half and bake them in the oven with olive oil, half a clove of garlic, salt and oregano for the tomatoes; oil, salt and chopped parsley for the onions; and half a clove of garlic, oil and parsley for the mushrooms. You can always use a frying pan to cook the vegetables.

Serve the duck pieces by placing them over the vegetables on a big plate.

Braised beef served with Brunello sauce

Recommended wines: Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2018

Ingredients for 4:

1.3 lbs / 600g of beef

1 bottle of Brunello wine

1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery, laurel, pepper grains, 2 cloves, ½ tbsp. nutmeg, olive oil, sea salt

flour or corn flour

Marinate the beef using a plastic bag, with the wine and all the aromas (onion, carrot, celery, laurel, pepper grains, nutmeg, cloves) for 12 hours.

Put the beef and in a casserole, pour some olive oil on all sides, season with salt and cover it with the marinade, after you filter it and eliminate the aromas.

Cook slowly on low heat 320°F (max.360°F) / 160°C (max. 180°C) for about 2 hours.

Take out the meat and keep it warm, but do not let it dry up. For the sauce, add a tablespoon of flour or corn flour to two tablespoons of the sauce from the casserole in a dish and stir well until the sauce thickens.

Slice the roast, pour the sauce over it and serve with grilled vegetables or potatoes.

As an alternative if you prefer pork meat...

Recommended wines: Fuligni Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2021

Pork leg served with Brunello wine sauce

Ingredients for 4:

2.2 lbs / 1 Kg of de-boned pork leg

garlic, rosemary, sage, laurel, thyme, marjoram, sea salt, pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1 glass of Brunello wine

Sprinkle the de-boned pork leg with the finely chopped aromatic herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.

Seal and tie the pork leg with kitchen twine and place in a roast pan and cook in the oven for about 1 hour; then add the wine and cook for another 45 minutes, eventually pouring some broth if the meat starts to dry up.

...or lamb meat...

Lamb ribs served with Brunello wine sauce

Recommended wine: Lisini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2018

Ingredients for 4:

8-12 lamb ribs

extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, laurel

2.2lbs / 1 Kg of potatoes

for the sauce:

2 cups and 2 tbsp. / 1/2 lt. of Brunello di Montalcino wine

3.5oz. / 100 gr. of butter, 3 green onions, 3 small twigs of thyme, 3 small twigs of rosemary, potato flour, sea salt

Chop the herbs with the garlic and then finely chop the green onions and place in a pot with some butter, thyme, rosemary and red wine. If the sauce is not thick, add 2 tablespoons of flour or corn flour dissolved in cold water and stir well. Filter and keep aside.

Cook the lamb ribs in a very hot pre-heated oven for 5 minutes on each side, seasoning with salt, pepper and sprinkle with the chopped aromatic herbs. Five minutes before it's ready, add the filtered sauce.

Peel, wash and cut the potatoes in pieces (in quarters or in half) throw them in boiling water for a few minutes. Then drain and put them in a roast pan along with some olive oil and the aromatic herbs and roast in the oven until golden brown. Serve the lamb ribs with the potatoes.

...or even wild boar meat...

Wild boar fillet served with Nobile wine sauce

Recommended wine: Dei Bossona Vino Nobile Riserva DOCG 2017

Ingredients for 4:

2.2lbs / 1 kg of wild boar fillet in one piece

1 bottle of Nobile di Montepulciano wine

2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, 1 onion, cloves, laurel leaves

honey, vegetable broth, sea salt, pepper, red pepper, corn flour, butter

2.2lbs / 1 kg of potatoes (preferably all small to medium-sized shape)

2.2lbs / 1 kg of porcini mushrooms in large slices (best to have nice section slices of the mushrooms and not diced).

Finely chop the carrot, celery stalk, onion, cloves and the laurel. In a covered bowl, marinate the wild boar fillet along with the chopped aromas and the wine in a plastic bag for 24 hours and keep in the fridge.

Drain the fillet but keep the marinade for later use. Cut the fillet in 1” / 3 cm thick slices, wrap each slice with laurel leaves and tie with kitchen twine.

Filter the marinade (eliminating the aromas) and pour it in a pot. Cook on medium heat and add some flour or corn flour to thicken the sauce if needed.

Peel the potatoes and boil them slightly. Then place in a pan with some olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, rosemary, 1 tablespoon of honey and some broth, salt and pepper and caramelize.

In a pan with some salt, olive oil and red pepper, sauté the porcini mushrooms.

In a non-stick pan, brown the fillet slices with some olive oil for 5 minutes and finish cooking in a preheated oven at 400°F / 200 °C for another 5 minutes. Serve with the porcini mushrooms, the potatoes and top everything with the Nobile wine sauce.

xronia polla!

Buona preparazione e buon appetito!

...TO BE CONTINUED... (part IV desserts)

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