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Bringing the food to the wine

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Had a rib steak in my shopping bag when I happened upon this new arrival. My recipe for bringing the two together is after the jump.

Bandol 2009, Domaine de Souviou ($28.45, 12108377)
100% Mourvèdre. Picked by hand and destemmed. Fermentation takes place at 28 to 30ºC and maceration lasts 15 to 28 days, depending on the vintage. There are two pumpovers and one punchdown a day. The wine is matured in oak barrels. 14% ABV.
Complex aromatics: sun-baked earth, garrigue, pencil shavings, black raspberry, plum, faint new leather and black pepper, hint of kirschy alcohol. On the palate, the wine seems introverted. It’s a silky-textured middleweight, well balanced and finely structured, but the tannins are very tight. Very dry and savoury, not at all fruity. The long, mildly astringent finish has a leather note. Unsmiling when first opened, it smoothed, rounded, deepened and even sweetened with time in a carafe. Still, the rigid tannins indicate it needs a few more years to reach maturity. (Buy again? Sure.)

Beef steak isn’t an ingredient I immediately associate with Bandol. To make mine more Bandol-friendly, I started thinking about flavours and the contents of my fridge. I came up with this umami-rich sauté, which really did the trick.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallots, Olives and Anchovy

2 large shallots
450 g (1 lb) cremini or button mushrooms
15 to 20 black olives (not having any Nyons on hand, I used brined Spanish and oil-cured Moroccan)
2 salt-packed anchovies (substitute 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley (optional)

Peel the shallots. If any have two bulbs, separate them. Trim the bulb ends. Cut the small bulbs in half lengthwise, the large bulbs in quarters. Clean and trim the mushrooms. Leave the very small mushrooms whole, halve or quarter the others. Pit and quarter the olives.

Rinse and pat dry the anchovies. Cut off each fish’s tail and dorsal fin. Trim the head end and belly. Scrape any scales off the sides. Using the point of the knife, pry up and lift off one of the fillets. Remove and discard the backbone from the other fillet. Mince all 4 fillets very fine.

Heat a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and sauté until they turn brown at the edges. Remove from the skillet from the burner. Transfer the shallots to a bowl, leaving behind as much oil as you can.

Put the butter in the skillet. Return the skillet to the burner and turn the heat to medium-low. When the butter has melted, add the anchovies and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until they begin to dissolve. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the mushrooms and thyme and sauté until the mushrooms soften and begin to brown at the edges. Add the olives and reserved shallots and sauté until hot. Adjust the seasoning.

Skillet Steak

This technique works especially well with boneless beef rib steaks and lamb leg steaks. Bavettes (sirloin flap steaks) and butterflied hanger steaks also work. Whichever meat you choose, it should be cut thin enough to cook to rare in 3 or 4 minutes. For the steaks and sauté to finish at about the same time, the steaks should go into their skillet just after the mushrooms go into theirs.

Salt and pepper two small steaks. Heat a skillet over high heat. Add enough olive oil or butter to film the bottom of the skillet. Place the steaks in the skillet and sear for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to warmed serving plates. Pour about 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine into the skillet and, as it bubbles away, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to free up any brown bits. When the wine is reduced to 1 or 2 tablespoons, pour it over the steaks. Top with the sautéed mushrooms, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Two servings

Written by carswell

October 2, 2013 at 12:11

Posted in Recipes, Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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