All recipes paired with wine, Beef

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Planning a dinner with friends, I was in one of those moods when I felt that it was time to open some ” special bottle of wine”. I planned to open Hewitt 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford – Napa Valley. If you are familiar with the wine, you will agree that such wine deserves a special meal to be paired with. I didn’t want to go to obligate way and make a steak, so I tried my version of Beef Bourguignon.

You know, the one that Julia Child introduced to America. Remember how in the movie Julie/Julia the young Julie was making this dish for some food critic, and poor girl fell asleep and burned the dish in the oven? I have seen quite a few different recipes for Beef Bourguignon, less and more difficult. At the end, I created my own version, and it came out fabulous! Just give this dish the proper care, time and you will be in heaven. At least I was. To enjoy the food is the same like enjoying the good bottle of wine. Don’t rush anything! Also, do not use a slow cooker. The flavors are entirely different.

I have actually done the meat a day ahead – so the rich gravy really came out great. You are going to need a lot of French baguette to dip!


  • 4 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 15 white mushrooms
  • 1 leek
  • 3 bay leafs
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 bottle of full body red wine, such as Cabernet, Shiraz, Syrah, Malbec or Bordeaux blend
  • 8 small fingerling potatoes or baby red, cut into half
  • 3 large carrots, divided into quarters lengthwise, or about 15 baby carrots
  • 4 slices of thick bacon, diced into small pieces
  • half a stick of unsalted butter
  • 12 white pearl onions, halved
  • plenty of fresh thyme sprigs
  • fresh parsley
  • oil


I started with meat – cut into pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan heat oil over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil if necessary.

Get heavy and large pan with a lid (or Dutch oven)  and start with heating a teaspoon of butter – add 2 cups of diced onion, bacon, shallot, 3 of the garlic cloves, add 6 of each thyme and parsley sprigs, sliced 1 carrot, 5 of the mushrooms sliced, leek, bay leafs and all the peppercorns. Saute for few minutes until translucent. Add browned meat, bring to high heat again and add whole bottle of red wine. If you work with gas stove, please use caution since the alcohol may catch a flames. Despite all the articles that states that it doesn’t matter what kind of wine you use, because it cooks out, I disagree. The better wine you use, the better the sauce will be. That doesn’t mean that you have to use an expensive bottle of wine. Just use something you would drink. There are plenty great reds around $10 – and it’s worth the investment 🙂

Bring to boil, cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low (or place into preheated oven at 350°F. Set your timer for 1 and 1/2 hours and go to do something else. Most likely you wouldn’t need to add more liquid – but if you do, use the stock. Check on the meat when the time is up and continue cooking it for another 1/2 hour if the meat isn’t tender enough. Set aside, let cool and chill in fridge overnight.

Next day, carefully transfer the pieces of meat to a deep, ovenproof pan or use the same dutch oven. Strain the liquid over the meat and mush through strainer to get every bit of all the good flavors in. It also helps to separate the fat that firmed overnight. Warm the meat in the oven for about 5 minutes, basting occasionally.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan and add baby carrots with 3 thyme sprigs, 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of salt. Saute over medium heat until golden and add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain, discard the seasonings, and add to the meat.

Repeat the same with pearl onions – saute on butter first and than add a little bit of water or stock, and simmer until tender. Cook potatoes in a little bit of water with thyme sprig until done, but not overdone. At last, heat more butter in the same saucepan, add halved mushrooms with remaining thyme and parsley, and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft.

Add potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions to the meat and toss gently. If you like thicker sauce, you can add a half a cup of beef stock mixed with 2 tablespoons of flour. Roast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are hot. . Serve immediately with a lot of crusty bread. This dish is a lot of work and requires some time, perhaps perfect for a snowy weekend. But believe me, you will be rewarded. Bon appétit!

Wine pairing suggestion:
I already wrote that I served this dish with big Hewitt Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. It’s wine to collect and not the house wine (at least for most of us). I can recommend much more affordable Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa or Newton Claret (a Bordeaux varietals blend) from a steep Spring Mountain. Whatever wine you pick, make sure it’s something special with this “king of beef” dish.

All recipes paired with wine, Beef, Poultry, Recipes with leftovers

Have plenty of holiday’s leftovers? Try my yummy Meat spread !

You guessed it. Few days past Easter, or Thanksgiving, and some of us try to come up with more and more creative ways to use all the leftover ham, turkey, brisket (you name it).
It’s perfectly good meat, but it gets tiresome after a while. We had ham’s steaks with asparagus and local corn the other day, and another dinner with some brisket and sauerkraut.  All yummy. But I still had a little bit of meat left, and being the “saving type” I would hate to waste perfectly good food. Yet, I couldn’t get myself to make another dry, turkey breast sandwich (of course, we never have the dark meat leftovers). So, I became creative.

And, we loved, loved our bagel sandwich with this meat spread! Here’s the recipe:

Leftover meat spread2

Meat spread


½ lb combined turkey and brisket meat
4 table spoons of mayonnaise
1 table spoon Dijon mustard
1 table spoon high quality olive oil
1 table spoon hot relish (optional)
1 stick leek, sliced and slowly sautéed
½ small onion, chopped, sautéed
3 cloves of garlic, mashed
Salt and pepper
Handful chopped parsley and oregano fresh herbs

First, I cut all the meat to small cubes, while checking for bones or fat I didn’t want in my spread. Added mayo, mustard and relish, seasoned with salt and pepper and pulse the food processor. If you like it chunkier, just pulse for seconds at the time. If you turn it on running, you’ll have a pate consistency. The spread looked dry (depends how much and what kind of meat you use), so I drizzled the mixture with high quality extra virgin olive oil instead of adding more mayo,.

In a frying pan, on medium heat, I sautéed chopped onion and leek in a little bit of olive oil and butter. When the leek is sautéed slowly, it became such a tasty, caramelized ingredient – so I cooked on low heat for about 20 minutes, until totally soft. Season with salt and set aside to cool.

Chop bunch of fresh herbs based on your taste. I picked parsley and spicy oregano to add some bite to it, from my back yard herbal garden. Added to the processor with the cooked leeks and onion, and pulsed it until smooth. Seasoned with more salt and pepper. Taste it and make sure it’s to your own liking. Adjust the seasoning if required. It was almost perfect to me, but it was still missing something. Oh, garlic! Of course! 3 cloves of garlic smashed and pressed into the mix. I took another taste – and yes, that was it!

We had a delicious lunch and still had more for the next day. This was a good transformation of meat that would be kind of “boring” on its own.

Leftover meat spread

All recipes paired with wine, Beef

Sautéed Skirt Steak in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Easy, quick, and very tastyyyy. This recipe (and picture) is from my friend Ken.
Leave some of the jalapeno seeds in – otherwise I don’t think it is spicy enough.
Superb recipe fo a great, tender, and an inexpensive cut of meat.

1 small onion
a 14- to 15-ounce can whole tomatoes in purée
1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chile
3/4 pound skirt steak
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Halve onion and thinly slice. Drain tomatoes, reserving purée, and finely chop. Wearing protective gloves, seed chile if desired for a milder sauce and finely chop. Cut steak crosswise into 4 pieces. Pat steak dry and season with salt.

Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot and add oil. Sauté steak about 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare and transfer to a baking dish. Keep steak warm in oven.

To skillet add onions with tomatoes, reserved purée, chile, and salt to taste and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and onion is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in any juices that have accumulated on baking dish from steak.
Serve steak with sauce.

This recipe is for 2 people, double the amount of ingredients for a family.

All recipes paired with wine, Beef, Ground meat, Summer Grilling

Bison Burgers with Cabernet Onions and Wisconsin Cheddar

Photo: K.J.Koskin

This recipe was send to me by one of my friends, food and wine lover Ken. I have yet to make it, but the recipe sounds delicious. If you make it first, please let me know how you liked it!


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups sliced onions (about 2)
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
1 pound ground bison (buffalo)
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 organic hamburger buns
6 ounces sliced Wisconsin white cheddar cheese
Dijon mustard
1 small head of escarole, leaves separated

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium- high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender and golden brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue to sauté until very tender and well browned, about 15 minutes longer. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.
Preheat broiler. Gently mix meat and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook until well browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Open buns and arrange, cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Place cheese slices on bun tops. Broil until cheese melts and bottom halves are lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Spread bottom halves with mustard. Top each with a few escarole leaves, then burger. Spoon onions atop burgers, dividing equally. Cover with bun tops; press lightly.

Makes 4 servings

Bison meat is very lean and is best served rare or medium-rare.

Wine pairing suggestion:
Time for a big, juicy red, the caramelized onions in wine, I would even pick some more fruity reds, like Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre – all of it above combined in GSM blends like Cotes du Rhône’s wines. A great example is Domaine de la Solitude Cotes du Rhône – one of the oldest family in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

But also their “entry” red wine, called simply Solitude de Cotes du Rhône, is a great bottle of rich, Grenache based fruity blend, for much less money than the King of the Rhône wines.

All recipes paired with wine, Beef, Ground meat

Shortcut Drunken Chili

BTW - this picture with that huge dollop of sour cream - that's how my husband served himself!

I love chili – but the real deal means to spend a few hours in the kitchen. It’s worth it, but who has the time? Well, I was craving some comfort food last night and remembered that I just bought a package of Pulled beef in Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce in Costco.

That could be a great base for chili, I thought. So I added couple of cans of beans and diced tomatoes (I always have stuff like that on hand), combined with some peppers and voila! Delicious chili was on table sooner than 30 minutes! So now you know why shortcut.

And why drunken? Well, as the Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce wasn’t enough, I added some red wine to the sauce as well. And, than you need some to drink with the meal …. so enjoy!

Shortcut Drunken Chili

1 lb of pulled beef in Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce (Costco)
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of any kind of beans you like (I used black and small red)
½ medium onion finely chopped
1 jalapeno chopped
1-2 green peppers, seeded and chopped into small pieces
1/2 McCormics Original Chili seasoning mix
1-2 cups of red wine
Olive oil

Heat an oil in the large pan and stir in onion. Cook on medium heat until soft. Add chopped peppers, season with mix and keep cooking for a minute. Add whole can of diced tomatoes with its juice to the pan and let simmer on low heat.

Add whole package of Pulled beef in Jack Daniel’s Barbecue sauce incl. the liquid. (I never had it before so I tasted it before I added it to the pan. The sauce was a little sweet which worked great with the heat of jalapeno and the acidity of tomatoes). Break chunks of the meat with wooden spoon so it dissolves in the veggie mix. Keep simmering on low heat.

In the meantime drain beans in colander and rinse under running water. If you live in Texas, I guess you skip this step – but I personally love my chili WITH beans. Add beans to the pan, mix together and add about a cup of red wine (any kind is good, I used leftover of my Cotes du Rhone). Let simmer, uncovered, until it thickens. Add more wine if needed and simmer till the flavors combine and peppers are soft.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips. I cut wedges of Indian naan bread, brushed it slightly with olive oil and warmed up in toaster oven for about 10 minutes. We loved it!

Wine pairing suggestion:
Well, I usually have my chili with Corona beer and lime. This time I wondered if the big flavors of this chili would stand up to a medium body Spanish red I just discovered recently – I am talking about Las Valles red blend from the region of Cariñena.

You know, the common rule says that big bold dish like this should be paired with big bold red. And this red is nothing like that, the wine wasn’t even aged in oak. But I knew it had a spice to it and a lot of fruit, so it should pair great. My expectation was proven right! Try it, you will be truly surprised!