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Even James Bond, a man partial to fine wine and rich food recognised the debilitating effect of over indulgence. In the fictional town of Royale les Eaux, the backdrop for Casino Royale, Bond surveying the scene is fed up with the “lip-smacking rituals of winemanship and foodmanship”. Given our own society’s obsession with food and wine, I know how he feels.

Much of the talk that surrounds wine, inevitably affixes itself to the food that might be matched with it. When we are talking fine wines, there is an assumption that the venue is expensive, the dish of great invention and technical skill, and the accompanying bill is enormous. And all that’s fine, but not all of us are willing or able to spend inordinate amounts of time or money on something that is essentially a luxury. Indeed, in my primitive, conservative soul lurks a certain distaste for over-indulgence and gross consumption. Sure, we like dining in restaurants, who doesn’t (?) but with three young children, a couple of businesses, a job and the cumulative strain of life, we don’t go out much. The prices too are out of control. With the mark up on wine in fine dining establishments nothing short of criminal.

Combine all this with the recent dining out restrictions and Bistro in the Burbs was born! Delicious home cooked meals with fabulous matching wines – what could be better? Sometimes modest, other times grand and not always perfect. But perfect fun.

Kicking off….

Corned beef and mustard sauce, matched with Ochota Barrels’ stunning A Forest Pinot Noir.

Ingredients and method

Place 1kg piece of corned silverside in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Drain and return the meat to a clean pan adding, onion, carrot, a teaspoon of peppercorns and 3 cloves of garlic. Add enough water to cover by 5 cms and simmer for 2 hours until meat is tender. Drain, strain and reserve cooking liquid.

Melt 50g of butter in a small saucepan, stir in 25g of flour. Remove from heat and gradually add two cups of cooking liquid, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil, continue stirring until sauce boils and thickens. Add a 1/4 cup cream and tsp of mustard to taste.

Serve with mashed potato and steamed veggies, and Ochota Barrels A Forest Pinot Noir 2019

 

 

 

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