Make Mine An Irish…Meal

    As St. Patrick’s Day is here once again, there’ll be gatherings of all types and sizes to celebrate the day. I thought it would be a little bit of a departure to focus on Irish food first, then the wines that would complement them.

    Try starting off with some Irish Egg Rolls –here’s what you’ll need to make eight of theses beauties:

    4 ounces chopped corned beef; 1 cup shredded steamed cabbage;1 cup diced cooked potato; 1 cup shredded carrot; 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced onion; salt and pepper, to taste; 8 egg roll wraps; 1 1⁄2 quarts oil (for deep frying, or less if you want to just pan fry)

    In bowl, mix together corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrot and onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay the egg roll wrappers on clean dry surface a few at a time. Place about 1/2 cup of filling into center of each wrap. Roll up into logs according to the directions on the package. Wet the edge with water to seal. Fry rolls a few at a time, turning as necessary, for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels.

    Try some Riesling with this dish; I suggest Dr. Hermann Dr. H. Riesling, 2017, Mosel, Germany, ($17.99). This wine is a light yellow-green color. On the nose, it offers notes of herbs and stone fruits. Sweet, fresh and fruity on the palate with a lively acidity. This wine is ideal for spicy food, especially spicy Asian cuisine, but but especially for Irish spicy food!

    Another great wine for this dish is Gradis ‘Ciutta Pinot Grigio, 2017, Colli, Italy ($22.99). The Wine Buying Guide says, ”The Gradis’ Ciutta Pinot Grigio 2017 is a lively and sophisticated white wine. This wine is perfect for enjoying on a relaxing evening at home or for taking to a friend’s party. It is excellent on its own, as an aperitif, or with a variety of light foods. A jewel-bright pale yellow in the glass, this white wine shows aromas of peach and ripe apples, with hints of more savory tones (think vegetables or tomato leaf). These savory notes continue onto the palate, which is plummy and nicely balanced. I agree and so will you and your guests.

    Whether people are coming and going during the day or staying through the Parade, another great dish to have on hand is Beef & Guinness Stew. Thisstew is a perfect dish for the colder weather we’re expecting. The other great thing about this dish is that you can serve it as a stew or take it one step further and use it as the filling for an impressive pie.

    Serves 6/

    120 minutes cook time
    1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
    1kg shoulder of beef, cut into one inch chunks
    1 onion, chopped
    2 carrots, roughly chopped
    2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
    150ml beef stock
    500ml of Guinness
    Sea salt and ground black pepper
    1 bay leaf
    30g of plain flour

    YOU’LL NEED a large pot or casserole dish

    Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the meat in two batches, be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove and set aside on a plate. Add another drop of oil if you need it and then fry off the onion, carrots and celery. Add the meat back into the pot along with the garlic.

    Pour in the stock, Guinness, one bay leaf and season to taste. Simmer gently for about 1 1/2 hours until the liquid has reduced. If the sauce isn’t thick enough strain the juices into a bowl and then transfer to a small saucepan.

    Mix a little of the sauce with the flour over heat until you have a smooth paste, then whisk through the rest of the liquid. Simmer gently until you have a thickened sauce, then tip back over the meat. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.

    Have some Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel, 2016, Sonoma County, California,($21.99) on hand for this one, whether you serve it as a stew or a pie. It’s got big, earthy tones with smoky notes of vanilla and mocha, as well as a long satisfying finish.

    Another nice addition would be a Rhone wine, like Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2018, ($19.99). Etienne Guigal says, “this is a deep and dark red, with fresh fruits, red berries and spices on the nose. The rounded and smooth tannins make it a full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine, with a long finish and plenty of  finesse due to the well-balanced tannins and fruit.”.


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