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Montepulicano d’Abbruzzo with Beef and Guinness Stew

February 4, 2011 by Inez No Comments »

The Marquess' Beef & Guinness StewDespite the fact that it’s still 5 degrees outside, summer is not far away. Already the days are getting slightly longer, and the sun is just that little bit warmer, in other words, there’s a ligh at the end of the tunnel.  Having not experienced many COLD winters, being from Brisbane,which is considered to be a “sub tropical” environment, I wondered to myself in November how on earth I would get through the long, cold, argious winter. However suprisingly I found that winter isn’t  all THAT bad! One things for sure sailing, and swimming goes out the window however there are many aspects that I DO enjoy about winter. The main aspect being the change in diet, to be honest our diet in Brisbane never really changes, simply because it’s not cold enough and winter doesn’t stretch long enough for things to change too dramatically, the temperature on everage  in winter is about 20 degrees during the day and perhaps in the dead of the night the temperature may drop below 8 degrees.  So as you can imagine there is no real need to eat wholesome warming meals, and drink rich full bodied reds.  So although we would crack out the soups and perhaps eat inside rather then on the verandah, nothing much changes for us during winter. 
However as I’ve discovered this is not the case here, rack’s of lamb, stew’s, casserol’s, slow cooked meat, polenta, pudding,  and warm soufle’s are all wonderful winter dishes which I’ve come to know and love.  It really makes such a nice change to sit down to a good bowl of hot soup, or a hearty casserol with a little bread and butter to mop up the sauce.  Naturally with these types of dishes requires a good full bodied red. Which is why I chose to pair this dish with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.  The
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Coste delle Plai by Jarno Trulli comes fromt the Abruzzi region, and this wine is usually medium to full bodied.  It is a wine renowned for being jam packed with flavour.  Because Abruzzi is in East/central Italy the climate is lovely and warm, which consequently increases the sugar and alcohol levels in the grape. The Montepulciano grape ripens quite late so it’s unsuitable  for the North of Italy,   however it thrives in the long warm summers of Central Italy.                                                                                                                                                                      
Montepulciano d’Abbruzo has a lovely deep rich purple colour, with soft tannins.  The Coste dell Plai is medium bodied and has a strong aromas of prunes, black cherries and red fruits  On the palate it has flavours of red berries, plum,  and notes of mature fruit.  It is rich and balanced with a long finish. The strong fruit flavours went very well with the rich flavours of the beef, onions, and juices of the guinness and it is a wine that you can continue to enjoy well after your meal.

Beef and Guinness Stew 

  • 2 large onions , diced
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • olive oil                                                                                                                                                             
  • 1kg braising steak , cut into chunks
  • 6 tbsp plain flour , well seasoned                                                                                                 
  • 500ml Guinness
  • beef stock fresh, cube or concentrate made up to 250ml                                                                                   
  • parsley chopped, to serve
  •  Method:

    1. Cook the onions, thyme and garlic with a little olive oil in a large casserole until the onion is softened and translucent. Dust the braising steak in the seasoned flour and brown in a hot pan with a little oil.
    2.
    When the beef has a good, even colour, add it to the pan with the onions and pour in the Guinness. Top up with the stock to just cover the beef.
    3.
    Cover and simmer over a very low heat or transfer to a 150C/fan 130C/gas 3 oven for 2-3 hours until the beef is meltingly tender (check after 2 hours). Season to taste and add some chopped parsley. Serves this with colcannon.

    Enjoy!!!

    Inez O’Shea
    “A Taste of Italy”

     

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