It’s a good day for red wine…

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SEPTEMBER 1 is allegedly “Spring Day” although this year the equinox – because I like science – is on the 22nd. Perversely, this past weekend has been filled with West Coast flowers in full bloom, and snow, lots of it, all over the Western Cape, and even on Table Mountain. While we’re waiting for it to warm up, here are some belly-warming recipes with suggested red wine pairings. Every day is red wine day here at Eat Play Drink HQ. 

Thanks to the The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association for the recipes. Sip and enjoy!

BEEF & PORTOBELLO STROGANOFF

(pictured above)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500g portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

500g beef fillet, sliced

1 medium onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, finely grated

4 cups chicken stock 

1 cup cream

½ cup sour cream

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

400g pappardelle pasta

4 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Handful fresh parsley, stems removed, and extra for serving

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method:

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Add mushrooms and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until mushrooms are golden brown and tender. Set aside in a large bowl.

Increase heat to high and add a fresh drizzle of olive oil to the same frying pan. Add the steak in a single layer, season well, and let it cook until well browned on each side but still pink in the centre of each slice. Remove steak from pan, and transfer to a board to rest. Slice into bite size strips that will eat well in pasta. 

Reduce heat to medium-high, add a fresh drizzle of olive oil to the pan, and cook onion and garlic until golden and softened. Add stock and cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half. Whisk in sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until thick and creamy. Return mushrooms and beef to the pan and stir until just heated through.

Meanwhile, cook pappardelle according to package instructions, until al dente. Keep one cup of pasta water aside. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add butter and a handful of parsley. Toss until butter is melted and the pasta is well coated and shiny. Add a dash of pasta water while tossing to loosen the noodles and keep them saucy. 

Arrange pasta in bowls and spoon stroganoff over top. Garnish with additional parsley and a crack of black pepper. 

Paired with Saronsberg Life is Fine Shiraz

To balance the richness of this dish, the succulent ripe fruit flavours of this Shiraz work perfectly. The wine has a deep, dark purple colour with scents of violets and delicate spice. The mouth-feel has depth and a layered fruity finish which balances the very savoury elements of the stroganoff.

MUSHROOM & MUSSEL PAELLA 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

500g portabellini or button mushrooms, quartered 

1 large onion, very finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1-2 bird’s eye chillis, sliced (seeds removed if desired) 

4 cloves garlic, finely grated

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

1½ cups short-grain rice (such as Bomba or Arborio)

1 cup dry white wine

6 cups mushroom or vegetable stock

1kg fresh mussels, cleaned 

Fresh micro herbs for serving 

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Lemon wedges for serving

Method:

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large paella pan, frying pan or wok. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown and their water has evaporated. Add onion and soften for 5 mins. Add bell pepper, chilli, garlic, turmeric and paprika. Cook until fragrant. 

Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent. Add wine and cook until completely evaporated. Add stock- the liquid should just cover the rice. Cook, without stirring, adding more stock if needed to keep rice moist while cooking, until rice is al dente and all liquid is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. (Shake pan after adding more stock to distribute evenly.)

Just before the rice is fully cooked add the mussels, ensuring that most of them are covered by the rice and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels open. Discard any that do not open.

Taste for seasoning and then scatter with fresh mirco herbs. Serve in the pan to keep warm alongside fresh lemon wedges. 

Paired with Ataraxia Serenity 

The variability of ingredients from land and sea used for this dish means that this paella has exciting wine pairing options. The complexity of flavours in this paella can handle this assertive red blend with a succulent fruitiness, fresh acidity and a dry finish. The Ataraxia Serenity has intriguing minerality, spicy notes and a touch of smokiness which plays beautifully with the smoky notes of the Spanish paprika running through the dish. 

MUSHROOM & QUINOA BURGER 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato

3 large portobello mushrooms

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 cup cooked quinoa (from about ½ uncooked)

¾ cup panko breadcrumbs

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

To serve:

4 burger buns of choice, toasted

Lettuce, *mayonnaise, cucumber ribbons, red onion slices, bean sprouts 

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Prick sweet potato all over with a fork; rub with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast directly on an oven rack until tender, 45-60 minutes. (Place a baking tray below to catch any drippings) Allow to cool. Remove and discard skin; mash flesh with a fork. Set aside.

Roughly chop portobello mushrooms and blitz in a food processor until very finely chopped.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over low. Cook shallot and chilli flakes, until shallot is tender. Add mushrooms and cook until they release all their liquid. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Add breadcrumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mashed sweet potato and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Divide mixture into 4 and form into patties, pressing firmly together with your hands. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium and cook patties until golden brown and the edges are crisp. 

Build burgers with all the fixings and serve straight away. 

*Use vegan mayonnaise to keep this recipe 100% vegan 

Paired with Blacksmith Wines Limbo Red

This veggie burger and red blend are a match made in heaven. Both are juicy, crunchy and on the lighter, fresher side. This fruity wine has hints of strawberry, raspberry and red cherry. The bright tannins pair nicely with the little hint of spice from the chilli flakes and the touch of sweetness from the sweet potato in the burger. Both are utterly scrumptious and complementary. 

MUSHROOM, CHICKEN & RICE SOUP 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

6 garlic cloves, very finely sliced (use a mandoline if possible) 

60ml neutral vegetable oil like canola or peanut 

2 tsp chilli flakes

1 small onion, finely diced

2 litres chicken stock

⅔ cup white short grain rice, rinsed

700g skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 large bunch kale, about 200g of destemmed leaves, roughly shredded 

500g portabellini mushrooms, sliced 

1 lemon

Fresh dill for serving

Extra virgin olive oil 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Method:

Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add garlic and cook gently until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a small heatproof jar or bowl. Add in the chilli flakes, stir and set aside. 

In a large pot, cook the onion in a drizzle of olive oil until lightly golden. 

Pour in 2 litres chicken stock, rinsed rice, boneless chicken thighs,

And stir to combine. Simmer uncovered until the chicken is cooked through. 10-15min. 

While the chicken is cooking- sauté mushrooms until golden brown in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Season and set aside. 

Once cooked, using tongs, transfer chicken to a board and shred meat with two forks.

Add kale, mushrooms and shredded chicken back to the pot. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until kale is just cooked and chicken is warmed through.

Remove pot from heat. Squeeze in lemon juice and adjust seasoning. 

Serve soup in warm bowls and top with fresh dill and a generous drizzle of the garlic-chilli oil. 

Paired with Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir

A wonderful light red that delivers on flavour and freshness. Best served chilled.

A delicate wine that compliments this delicate dish. On the nose it has a bouquet of ripe strawberries and cherries, followed by hints of blueberries and mocha, aiding the light savoury finish. Much like the light savoury finish to this subtle soup. 

The two deliver very sophisticated flavours together. 

SPICY MUSHROOM LARB 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500g portabellini or button mushrooms, halved and sliced 

4 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 thumb size piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 red bird’s eye chillis, thinly sliced

1 cup mint leaves

6 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp soy sauce

½ cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts, divided

2 heads baby gem lettuce, leaves divided into lettuce cups 

Peanut or neutral vegetable oil 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

Lime wedges, for serving 

Method:

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, tossing often, until golden brown all over. 

Add shallots, garlic, and ginger to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until aromatics are softened and fragrant.

Remove pan from heat; season mushroom mixture lightly with salt and pepper. Mix in spring onions, chillies, mint, soy sauce and half of the peanuts.

Transfer larb (mushroom mix) to a platter or large bowl. Serve insttuce cups with remaining peanuts alongside and wedges of fresh lime. 

Paired with Marras Grenache Noir, a bright and exuberant wine with ample sweet ripe fruit, peppery notes and soft tannins.  The palate is soft and lends itself to a perfect sipping wine. The ripe berry notes of wild strawberry and cherry in this compelling wine make for a fine match with the earthy, meaty and spicy elements of mushrooms and chilli in this dish. 

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