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Mark Hugger

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Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mark Hugger » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:08 pm

I'm having a wine-loving couple over for dinner Saturday night. The main course is Beef Short Ribs Vindaloo. My curry mix will not be overly spicy.

These are the wines I am considering:

One of two 2004 Bierzos-- the Descendients Petalos or the Dominos de Tares "Baltos." I know some of you had these because I researched here before special ordering these particular bottles.

2004 Clos Mimi Petite Rousse, which is a Paso Robles syrah

2001 Scala Dei, Priorat...which was given to me by this couple, but I'm afraid it might be a little too austere for the vindaloo

Or, I have a few 03 burgundies, which should show plenty of fruit.

Suggestions?
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Dave Erickson

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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Dave Erickson » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:14 pm

Beer. :mrgreen:

Seriously, I would not drink red wine with curry of any sort, and even if your curry is on the mild side, it will overwhelm the reds you've mentioned. Please, please don't drink Burgundy with it! You might try a really big Austrian Riesling--Nigl comes to mind, or Tegernseerhof--and it is possible that a white from Alsace might cut the mustard, so to speak.

Just my inflation-adjusted two cents.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Robert Jones » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:23 pm

I agree that any red wine will suffer when paired with a curry.

When in doubt re. a beverage match for a dish, default to geography. What do they typically drink where the dish originated? You'll rarely fail to find an adequate match when following that simple rule.

That said, I vote for Wittekirk or Hoegaarden, poured into a tall glass.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mark Hugger » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:27 pm

The burgundies are clearly out of the equation. Thank you for the strong warning, Dave. But I'm struggling with pairing a white with this meal. I am braising the ribs and expecting a very beefy result. The vindaloo will lean toward the cumin/coriander side, with little or no pepper heat.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by RonicaJM » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:38 pm

Mark, I am no expert. But when I had friends over for dinner for Indian food that was very flavorful, but not spicy, the wine merchant recommended an Alsace white. It was a blend, slightly off dry and was a good companion to the curry filled dish. Since I cook lots of spicy foods I am starting to drink more whites.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Clinton Macsherry » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:51 pm

Of the choices you list, Mark, the Paso Syrah sounds most appealing to me. It's often wonderful with dry-rubbed ribs, and it should have spice notes that might play nicely with your cumin/coriander. If you're really not going for hot curry, Sangiovese might work well, too.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mike B. » Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:16 pm

Mark, normally I pair my curry dishes with a slightly off-dry Gewurztraminer. The wine has spicy notes of its own, and the sweetness works well with the heat of the curry.

Whatever you do, don't pair big tannic wines with spicy foods. Ouch.

However, by your description of the curry, I would imagine an earthy Syrah would work well.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Jenise » Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:32 pm

Mark, considering that the dish will contain little or no heat, it will actually pair very well with that Paso syrah. It's a big beefy dish with assertive flavors, and those Paso syrahs are big wines that need this kind of food. I wouldn't hesitate.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mark Hugger » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:38 pm

Obviously, I need to open two bottles for dinner. I have an 04 Zind Humbrecht Riesling that my wife loves. And, I'll open the syrah. We'll let the diners decide which pairs better.

Oh, and thanks all for the excuse to indulge.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mike B. » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:46 pm

Of course, you realize you will have to provide us with the details.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Jenise » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:57 pm

We'll let the diners decide which pairs better.

Best plan of all! And each wine will probably get votes depending on who likes which kind of wine best, and that's how it should be. As long as you don't overwelm subtle food with big wine or visa versa (as would have been the case with the burgundy), most pairings are at least good enough for prime time.

But I agree with Mike--we want details!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mark Hugger » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:01 pm

But I agree with Mike--we want details!


Details forthcoming Monday morning.
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Jenise » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:45 pm

We'll look forward to it, Mark. By the way, love your tag line.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mark Hugger » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:16 am

Thanks for the suggestions.

Dinner started with a butternut squash soup topped with a sour cream and cider sauce. When I served, we were finishing a prosecco that our guests brought. The sweetness of the soup masked the slight sweetness of the prosecco, making it taste quite fresh, without the cloying aftertaste I associate with the prosecco's I've had. Sadly, my wife tossed the bottle before I had a chance to note its maker.

Since I had the Zind Humbrecht reisling for the main course, I opened it for the salad: cucumbers, red onion and cilantro with a vinagrette dressing. The fruit in the reisling popped nicely against the acidity of the dressing.

As to the vindaloo--well, with all my worries as expressed above--it became more vindaloo-ish than spicy. I did a dry rub on the short ribs with cumin, coriander, dry mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a white pepper-based five spice powder from the local Asian market. Plenty of flavor, not much heat. I braised them the day before, let them set in the pan with the juices overnight. They were served with brown rice and roasted asparagus.

I decanted the Syrah for an hour. It was outstanding. Dark fruit, spices with a burnt butter middle. As suggested above, it was excellent with the "vindaloo-ish" beef. My wife stuck with the reisling, so I was able to compare. The reisling had no difficulty standing up to the spices. The balance of this well-made wine shown through. Its fruit had popped with the salad dressing, but its acidity more than held its own with the beef.

With the roquefort cheese plate, we opened a Chateau les Roques Loupiac. The sauterne was golden colored with vanilla-cream and peach on the nose and palatte. Its complex finish was intoxicating with the blue cheese.

I did a tarte tatin for dessert, paired with strong black coffee, to send our guests off with clear (enough) heads.

Thank you so much for the pairing ideas. The syrah and reisling were both great with the short ribs.
if I were all the man that he is cat...

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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Jenise » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:50 pm

Great results, Mark, and that both the ZH and the syrah worked with the beef is further proof that body is more important than color in matching wine to food. Sounds like a great meal, too. Could I talk you into posting your vindaloo recipe on the food board?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mike B. » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:04 pm

Good to hear the wines paired well with the ribs, Mark.

And thanks for sharing.

I'm with Jenise, can we have the recipe?
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Re: Pairing suggestions for short ribs vindaloo

by Mark Hugger » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:40 pm

Didn't have a recipe. But it wasn't complicated.

I got four great fresh short ribs from Whole Foods, delivered that morning so I had my pick. I went for meaty ribs and then still trimmed some fat at home. I let them sit on the counter until room temp.

The so-called curry was 1 tbsp of cumin, slightly less than 1 tbsp coriander, 1/4 tsps of cinnamon, nutmeg and a mild white pepper based five-spice powder. (I play around a lot with these spices, including tumerc, ginger and red peppers. So I can't swear to the mixture. I just stick my nose in it while blending until I am happy or sneezing too hard to continue.)

I salt and peppered the ribs then dry-rubbed them with the "curry". Browned them thorougly in a heavy pot that could hold all four ribs flat.

Removed the ribs and added roughly chopped onion, carrot and celery. Cooked until soft, but not browning. Added the remaining curry and the ribs and covered with beef broth and brought to boil, then covered.

Put the covered pot on the low rack in the oven, which was preheated to 250. Cooked for two hours, day one. Cooled and then put it in the fridge for the night.

About three hours from serving, I skimmed half the fat off the top of the pot. (Probably would not have done that, but my wife was lurking). Brought it to a bare boil on the stove, then put it back into the oven at 250 for two hours. Removed the ribs from the broth, strained the broth and set the vegetables aside.

Reduced the broth a third or more (looking for just enough sauce for four servings) then used mung bean flour to thicken just before serving. Season.

Remaining vegetabls on rice, ribs on vegetables and sauce over all. Garnished with roasted asparagus.

BTW, I decanted the syrah for a couple hours before serving the ribs.
if I were all the man that he is cat...

--Bukowski

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