11 July 2011

Taste The Tour Pack and follow our peleton over the Pyrenees- time to get cooking!

Today is a rest day and tommorrow the peleton enters the south-west passing through the Cahors region!

If you havent done so already, time to stock up on wine from the region, some good cheeses and think about a slow braise of beef for enjoyment with one of the reds

Here's some information from our Tour Pack and a really easy recipe to try.

Wines from the Pyrenees and the South-West of France 
The wines are sourced from vineyards in the Pyrenees and the South West of France - regions that the 2011 will be passing through.
Of course there is no need to stick rigidly to a certain wine on a certain stage but we have provided some suggestions and background information. These wines can be consumed any time!. 
Follow us on twitter @discovervin or on Facebook DiscoverVin Wines for updates. Join our peleton on the collective ride over the pyrenees!
And of course, please follow our friends Les Vaches de Tour for an amusing perspective on the tour including some hints on cheeses!

Stage 10 and 11- Bergerac and Cahors 
Wine 1-Domaine de Lagrezette Zette Rouge 2005, 750 ml, $14.99-modern malbec from Cahors- for fun.
Wine 2- Chateau La Rayre Bergerac Rosé 2009, 750 ml, $16.99 -one of our best sellers. Made from Merlot and Cab Sauv. Drink chilled, turn up the heating and imagine being in the sundrenhed French countryside in mid-summer!

Stage 12,13,14-Madiran and Jurançon
Wine 3-Domaine du Crampilh - Madiran Vignes Vielles 2006 $28.99, 750 ml-Big fruit, great tannin, balance and structure-award winning wine made from tannat grapes.
Wine 4-Domaine du Crampilh - Pacheranc Moelleux  Cuvée Celeste, 2007500ml $25.99 - the name is a mouthful and so is the fruit in this wine. A delicious not too sweet dessert wine-no wonder the French have tried to keep this to themselves!
Wine 5- Château Jolys Jurançon Sec 2009, 750 ml, $17.99 -One of our best sellers-Drink of the Week Sunday Herald Melbourne 15th May 2011- delightful unwooded Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng
Wine 6-Domaine Bellegarde-Jurançon Moelleux “Selection Tradition” 2008, 375ml, $10.99- The sweet wines of Jurançon are amongst the great sweet/dessert wines of the world and great value for money. This is an excellent example- luscious complex fruit, balance, length and not too sweet on the finish.

Total price for the Taste the Tour 6 pack is only $115 and free postage for limited time!.
Simply click on Albury-Wodonga/Tour pack tab on the delivery options to receive this free offer. (updated 8th July 2011)
A fraction of the price of a ticket to France! 

So now our first recipe... Beef braised in Malbec.

So hopefully you have stocked up on some rump steak or whatever cut you prefer- or zip out and get some. The Zette malbec from Cahors can be enjoyed with the steak. Just enjoy the steak with whatever is your favorite marinade or sauce, or perhaps  just simply with some good french mustard and a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of black pepper. The Zette Malbec is lovely as it is but comes into its own with food such as this. Enjoy the lovely fruit and nice minerals and tannin structure and marvel at the value for money! This wine was placed in the Top 100 best value wines of 2010 by Us Wine Enthusiast magazine. We managed to secure the last pallet  left in the winery. Get in quick as it is disaperaing fast!

Pespeso (the famous hunter’s peppery beef stew) by Jamie Oliver was inspiration for this dish.  But we think the Italians in turn borrowed this from the French as we have had many similar dishes in this part of the world. We have made it many times, usually with a beef cut called “goulash” from our Italian smallgoods producer “Formici”, but on this occasion we bought some rump steak on special it did the job very nicely !  Jamie suggests beef or veal shin on the bone – a bit hard to find in our neck of the woods!  It’s a good dish to make on a cold old day as it requires your oven to be on for six hours or so.  In the warmer weather we sometimes leave it in the outdoor pizza oven overnight.

·     Heat oven to 150°C

·     Find an oven proof dish that is just big enough to hold all ingredients and hopefully has a lid (I used my small LaCrueset)

·    Slice whatever red meat you have into chunks

·    Place a layer of meat in the bottom of the oven proof dish, scatter several garlic cloves, a decent amount of black pepper, a sprinkle of salt and a couple of rosemary sprigs over each layer – continue until all meat used and add a couple of bay leaves. As a variation you can add a few pieces of orange peel.

·     I covered this with half a bottle of Zette Rouge and topped it up, to just cover the meat, with a bit of water.

·     Cover with a double layer of foil, then the lid and tie the lid down with kitchen string to ensure it is a really tight fit.

·    Cook in a preheated oven for 6 hours.  Alternately, Jamie suggests you can cook at a lower temperature (140°C) for 8 hours or so. If you dont have time 3 or 4 hours would suffice. One trick is to put it on before bed in a slow oven and take it out the next morning.
When cooked we usually use as a pasta sauce or lovely on a good crusty toasted sourdough bread with a crispy salad. Or could be done with rice or couscous and veges.

It can be prepared ahead and of course its always nicer the next day once the flavours have melded together.

The aroma whilst cooking is magnificent, so perhaps you’ll need to finish off that bottle of Zette with some other delicacy while you wait!

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