Recipe and Pairing: Crock Pot Beef Stew paired with Roost de Rouge
Between busy work schedules and families, it sometimes feels like a miracle when I am able to cook a well thought out meal, using an actual recipe. With two young kids at at home, sometimes “cooking” feels like a waste of time when all they want to eat is chicken nuggets. Determined to introduce new foods and take care of our adult craving of finding great meal pairings with our wines and brews, I put a few recipes to the test. I am a personal fan of the crock-pot and letting it do most of the cooking. That is, if I remember to actually start using it sooner than 4pm on the day I am trying to make dinner!
I’ve been wanting to try a good hearty and easy to prepare meal to pair with our Roost de Rouge wine, and a mid-winter crock pot beef stew was just the ticket.
Here is what I threw in the crockpot in the morning:
- 2 pounds stew beef
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 beef buillion cube
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups dry red wine (something light to medium bodied)
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 medium carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut (or a bag of baby carrots if you want to skip the peeling)
- 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
Set on low for 8 hours and served it up to the family for dinner with a loaf of baked french bread.
Just as I suspected, this was a beautiful pairing.
Why is this is a great pairing?
A great rule of thumb to follow in pairing wines with meals is in the body. A meat and potatoes hearty meal with some flavor needs a fuller bodied wine that can stand up to it. A lighter bodied wine might get lost in a heavy meal.
I poured a glass of Roost de Rouge, which is our full-bodied red blend. A Zinfandel base, this wine has a lot of pepper and spice! While the full-body of the wine stood up to the heartiness and starch of a beef stew, I thought the pepper in the wine added a nice spice to this stew without stepping on the toes of any spice added to the meal, which were relatively mild. It allowed me to appreciate the interesting tastes in the wine without overpowering the meal with spices itself. Plus, the red wine reduction made it really easy for the wine and meal to hold hands.
And added bonus, the kids actually tried it! Surprisingly, their favorite part was the tender beef. A welcome change from chicken nuggets.