My Beef with Wine…

The holidays are here and I am feeling particularly optimistic about the season. My new job as a wine broker is going very well and I am having a lot of fun learning more about wine and sales. To be honest, while I love the world of match making and I miss it a lot most days, It feels good to go back to my roots in a way that I had never envisioned. That is what I love about the culinary and hospitality industry. If you are passionate about it, you can always find a way to make a living even if you don’t want to cook in a kitchen or work for a hotel.”Find a job that you love and you’ll never a work a day in your life” is just the truth.

Modeling a gorgeous 2009 Cab

Modeling a gorgeous 2009 Cab by Jim Olsen called Wagner.

As an early Christmas present I would like to share one of my favorite holiday recipes with you. You see, when Joe and I were dating he curtained his disdain of many foods very well. It’s a good thing too, because had I known that he hated seafood AND Steely Dan before date three I don’t think Team Powdilla would exist today. As a result of his persnickety palate we do not make turkey for our holiday feast. Instead, we make prime rib. Okay, not a bad substitution I have to admit. I think this is a fine tradition that should be adopted for a few reasons: Prime Rib is delicious, it is way easier to make than turkey, and it’s paired with red wine. I really don’t think I need to convince you any further than that. Without further ado, I give you…

Team Powdilla Holiday Prime Rib with Cabernet Mushroom Gravy

For roast:

  • 1 (4-rib) prime rib roast with ribs
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

For sauce

  • 2 small onions (1 left unpeeled and halved lengthwise, and 1 peeled and chopped)
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped shallots (about 3 large)
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 Large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 cup veal demi-glace
  • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly
  • Juice from slices roast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook roast:

Let roast stand at room temperature 1 hour. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Trim all but a thin layer of fat from roast, then rub roast all over with herbs, salt, and pepper.

photo 1

Transfer to a rack set in a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan. Roast beef 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 250°F and roast until thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 110°F, 2 and a half hours. Transfer to a large platter and let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes. (Internal temperature of meat will rise to 130°F for medium-rare.)

Begin to prepare sauce when you reduce the heat on the roast:

Cook halved onion, cut sides down, undisturbed, in 1 tablespoon butter in a 2-quart heavy nonreactive saucepan over moderate heat until browned well, about 4 minutes. Add chopped onion, shallots, carrot, celery, garlic, and 2 tablespoons butter and reduce heat to moderately low, then cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chopped vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add herbs, peppercorns, and 2 cups wine and boil, uncovered, over moderately high heat until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 25 to 30 minutes.  While wine reduces, sautée the shallots until translucent then add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms have a jammy consistency, about 7 minutes.

photo 2

Using a fine mesh sieve, pour the reduced wine into the mushrooms using a wooden spoon to release all of the liquid through the sieve.  Add in demi-glace, and remaining 1 3/4 cups wine to reduced liquid in saucepan and boil, uncovered, over moderately high heat, skimming off froth occasionally, until reduced to about 2 cups, 20 to 35 minutes. Stir in currant jelly, then reduce heat to low and whisk in salt and pepper, any juices from meat accumulated on platter, and remaining 3 tablespoons butter until incorporated. Slice roast across the grain and serve with sauce on the side.

photo 3

This Prime Rib will pair wonderfully with the wine show cased above. It is a 2009 Wagner Cabernet Sauvignon meritage from Mendocino and Lake County grapes. It is hand crafted by Jim Olsen who was the professor of oenology at UC Davis for over 20 years. This cab is fruit forward with lots of black cherry and has a light, dry finish with silky tannins. It is PERFECT for food pairing or on it’s own.

Bon Appétit!


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