One of the many things in my life I haven’t had the chance to talk about here yet is my love for cooking. It only seems natural that I would eventually end up talking about how wine can enhance cooking.
On a recent day off I decided to make myself a big batch of something yummy that I’d be able to eat for the week. My go-to recipe source is Epicurious, and it didn’t disappoint. I quickly found the perfect recipe to tackle – beef stew with potatoes and carrots – and wine, of course.
Since it was only me eating the stew I halved the recipe and, believe me, it still took most of my afternoon and made a ton. This is a great recipe for a lazy fall Sunday, especially if you’re having people over later and can help eat.
I recently read an article about the uses of acid on one of my favourite cooking websites and decided to substitute some leftover port I had for the balsamic vinegar. The recipe didn’t explicitly say it but I’m pretty sure the vinegar was meant to deglaze the pot. I decided port would do just as well and might even give a bit more depth of flavour to the stew.
After I’d deglazed with the port I added the wine and let it bubble and reduce away, concentrating the flavour and burning off some of the alcohol.
Seriously, doesn’t that look amazing already? Too bad blogs don’t emit smell yet…
After that it was time to shove it all in the oven and let the beef braise. Two hours later it came out smelling amazing and looking even more stew-like. I cut up some veg (carrots, potatoes, parsnips and mushrooms) and kept it simmering on the stovetop until the new additions were cooked through. And voila – delicious stew!
The recipe and its reviews both said the stew only got better with time, so I let it cool and then put it in the fridge until the next day, when I finally got a taste. And let me tell you, they were not wrong. It was delicious! I can’t wait to eat it all week.