Thursday, September 24, 2009

An Amazing Weekend of Wine, Food and Friendship! WGW #3

A little over a week ago at a friends cottage, I had another unbelievable weekend of wine and food, but most of all friendship. Our annual tradition of the Wine Guy Weekend, as we call it, was another success. We all love wine and we all love food and there was a lot of both! One of the most enjoyable aspects of this weekend is that we all take a break our different routines and just relax and catch up on the goings on in our lives.

The food is a grand effort from everyone. There are weeks of planning and plenty of email discussions  and revisions over menu items. We try as much as possible to make everything ourselves, if we can. This year my contributions came mainly from my curing and preserving. Duck Prosciutto, Pastrami, Tamshire Bacon, Jams and Pickles (most of these things have been documented here).

The organizational efforts also extend into our wine selections. What to pair with what, how can we organize the flights and what style may we be missing.. Ultimately in the excitement of it all we end up bring way more wine than we should. This years list was again incredible, offering up some of the best wines I have ever enjoyed (I say this every year and mean it!). L always digs deep into his cellar to surprise us with a selection so old it makes some of the 30-40yr wines we've consumed look young. Last years old stunner was and 1897 Lafite, this year it was a younger sibling... the 1912 Lafite. Just to look and handle a bottles if this age is amazing.. the aging and printing of the label the manufacturing details of the bottle, the journey it has taken? It wasn't a fantastic wine to drink, but the history, conversation and interest it gave us all was. I can't think of a better group of guys that I would want to haul out my best bottles with, dissect every detail of it and laugh it off when it really isn't the 99pt Parker said it was. Cheers boys to another fantastic weekend! Let the planning commence for WGW #4... can we get some more vegetables this time??

Full Menu & List of Wines
Friday Lunch - Charcuterie and Quebec Cheeses
Duck Prosciutto (home cured),
Chorizo, Rosetta, Coppa, Fegatello (the 4 from Les Cochon Tout Ronds)
Bouq Emissaire, Pied de Vent, Riopelle and ???

Friday Dinner
Shrimp and scallop with Vidal icewine/grainy mustard sauce
Braised Waygu short ribs, sauteed rapini, celery root mash
Chocolate Souffle

Saturday Breakfast:
Eggs Maple Tamshire Bacon (home cured/applewood smoked, Smoked fish (home cured and smoked by L).

Saturday Lunch:
Vitello Tonato
Baugna cauda on Roasted Peppers
Anchovies in a Green Herb & Garlic Sauce
Home made Pastrami on Silverstein's rye with Kozlik's double crunch mustard & homemade pickles
More Quebec Cheese

Saturday Dinner:
Torchon de Foie Gras, Balsamic Onion Confit & Jules toasted Brioche
Grilled Veal Chop with Red Wine/Veal Demi Glace sauce & Grilled Zucchini and Peppers. Potatoes roasted in duck fat with fresh thyme.
Plum & Almond Cake

Sunday Breakfast
Eggs with Leftover hash w/Pastrami, Potatoes, Shallots and Red Peppers & Tamshire Bacon

Friday Wines:
1996 Moreau Chablis Le Clos
1998 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcanesco Conca
2003 Guigal Cote-Rotie Chateau d'Ampuis
1975 Vega Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero (magnum)
2006 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard
1989 Chave Hermitage
1990 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chappelle
1989 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild
1989 Chateau Palmer
1995 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
2002 Verite La Joie
1995 Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella
2006 A Foreign Affair Cabernet Franc (100% Appassimento)

2005 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Cascina Francia
2005 Aldo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Conca Tre Pile
1985 Krug
2006 Delas Condrieu Clos Boucher
1994 Chateau Haut-Brion
2001 Rieussec Sauternes
2001 Kracher TBA #6
1912 Chateau Lafite
1966 Chateau Latour
1986 Gaja Barbaresco Sori Tilden
1996 Dante Rivetti Barbaresco Riserva Bricco de Neueis
2004 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape
2001 Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wagyu Pastrami

My first try at the Pastrami recipe from Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I had purchased a brisket to cure and smoke, but while I was at Cumbrae I spotted a wagyu tri-tip steak (the pure breed Wagyu is raised on their own farms!). I've had this wagyu cut before as a grilled steak and it was so marbled and had such amazing fat distribution that I figured it would make an amazing pastrami. I probably would have never tried this had it not been for Ruhlman himself posting on his blog about his Short Rib Pastrami.

I also had some Tamshire (a cross breed of Tamworth and Berkshire pork) bellies curing. So the smoker did double duty. I was glad to have had enough room in the smoker for the bellies & the pastrami. I used mainly apple wood for the duration of the smoke but I pulled the bellies out and loaded in some hickory to finish off the pastrami.

After I was done all the smoking everything was cooled down and vacuum packed to be dealt with until today. I setup my slow cooker to heat up and steam the pastrami to finish it off. I put some water in the bottom and elevated the meat so that it wasn't submerged in the water, let it go on low for 6hrs and came home to an unbelievable and powerful smoked meat smell!. I had to slice some right away and K. had grabbed some Rye bread earlier from Harbord Bakery so we were ready to Fress our sandwiches. The sandwich blew me away, it was gone so fast and all I can say is it was awesome! At first we tried them simple, just some mustard, from Montreal of course (made using some Quebec Maudite beer as well). Then we dressed it up further with some sauerkraut from Moishes.

I was so glad with the final results and in the end felt so rewarded with the outcome. It was a long process with most of it taken up with the wait, for the brine/cure, for the smoke, for the steam... like all good things... they take time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jam & Pickles

I've decided it was time that I do some canning. I've been meaning to try it, love the idea of having my own Jams & Pickles at the ready. I also love the fact that I know all of the ingredients that went into what I made! Strawberry season in now in full swing so we went up to Linton's Farm in the Shwiggitty and bought us some berries. 2 Pints to eat now and 4 for the jam.

While at the farm we spotted some small cucumbers and got the idea to try a a small batch of dill pickles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Giant Chocolate Bar! 10lbs of Guittard 63% Bittersweet Chocolate

Found this on sale! There's a quarter in the corner for reference..

Better Butter?

I've been trying to find butter... the butter that I've tasted in Europe that is.

I have fond memories of amazingly rich and creamy tangy and tasty butter from Paris & Portugal.. but most of we have here in Ontario lacks the flavour and the fat!

The best I have tried was contraband stuff that was available at SLM but sadly its never been brought in again. I have also tried a butter from Quebec that was OK but didnt have the richness that I craved. So I went out and searched around to see what was available here in TO... Whole Foods, Pusateries, Shay Cheese (online cheesse dude) & Loblaws (one of my most hated grocers!).