Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

A civilized red from the Languedoc

leave a comment »

While this made a fine pairing for hanger steak with anchovy, garlic and parsley (recipe after the jump), I couldn’t stop thinking of Patricia Wells’ roasted guinea hen stuffed with finely chopped black olives, shallots, thyme, chicken liver and bacon (see Bistro Cooking for the script).

Languedoc 2012, Campredon, Domaine Alain Chabanon ($27.15, 11909586)
Chabanon is reportedly a disciple of Alain Brumont, not that you’d ever guess it from this wine. A blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache (50-30-20 according to some, 60-25-15 according to from biodynamically and organically farmed vines averaging 23 years old. Manually harvested. Gravity-transferred to stainless steel tanks. Fermentation (with indigenous yeasts) and maceration last five weeks and entail alternating punch-downs and pump-overs. The wine is then pressed in a pneumatic press and matured ten months in stainless steel tanks. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. 12% ABV (!) per the label, 13% per Quebec agent: A.O.C. & Cie Châteaux et Domaines.
Fresh and fragrant nose of dusty plum and blackberry with hints of dried herbs, licorice, game and old wood. Medium-bodied. The impressively pure, ripe-sweet fruit is soon wrapped in a gossamer astringency and bitterness. Supple tannins frame, soft acidity buoys, mineral and black olive flavours haunt. A dry, long and graceful wine that is savoury to its core. (Buy again? Yes.)

Hanger Steak with Anchovy, Garlic and Parsley

This recipe is for one serving but can simply be multiplied by the number of people you’re feeding. Bavette – sirloin flap steak – gives equally satisfactory results.

Rinse and pat dry 1 salt-packed anchovy. Cut off the 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. Chop both fillets very fine. Peel and finely chop 1 small garlic clove. Finely chop enough flat-leaf parsley to give you 1 generous tablespoon’s worth.

Lightly brush a 175 g (6 oz) butterflied hanger steak with olive oil. Place a cast iron skillet over high heat. When it begins to smoke, add the steak, cook 2 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes more (for rare). Move the skillet off the burner. Transfer the steak to a warm plate, season with freshly ground pepper and a little salt, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Three or 4 minutes before serving, put the anchovy in the skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter. Return the skillet to the burner and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir the anchovies constantly with a wooden spoon until they begin to dissolve. Add the garlic and continue cooking until it begins to turn light gold. Turn the heat to high, add half the parsley and 60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine. As the wine bubbles away, scrape the skillet with the spoon, freeing any brown bits stick to the bottom. Transfer the steak to a clean warm serving plate. When the wine has reduced to 1 or 2 tablespoons, pour the sauce over the steak. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower florets or quartered new potatoes tossed with olive oil and salt, roasted in a hot oven and sprinkled with ground espelette pepper just before serving make an excellent side.

Written by carswell

October 14, 2014 at 18:01

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: