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Posts Tagged ‘Syrah’

Reserve du Reverend, Corbières 2009, €9.95 from Mitchell & Son, Dublin

Jules and I regularly drink wines from the south of France, we find them reliable and usually good value; the Reserve du Reverend is no exception.

Corbières is the largest appellation in the Languedoc, southern France. As such it has the advantage of good, warm weather and plenty of sunshine. It also has cooling breezes sweeping up from the Mediterranean into the Pyrenees. This breeze helps keep the grapes from getting too hot and then becoming jammy and alcoholic.

Like many wines from this area the Reserve du Reverend is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah; these grapes give a juiciness without any hard edges. The joy here is the balance of brambly, dark berried fruit and the easy, velvety and slightly herbal spices. A wine that doesn’t try to be any more than enjoyable and drinkable. Because it succeeds at this there is a big cheers from me.

A wine that is as easy to drink on its own, or with rustic French fare: grilled meats, roast duck, lamb or ratatouille.

After a long week at work and on a rainy Friday night in the middle of our Irish summer it was good to get home, cook a simple pasta and open something uncomplicated but well made, balanced and enjoyable.

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I’ve had Georgio Locatelli’s Made in Italy for yonks now but had yet to try any of the recipes until tonight. We had some duck breasts and were looking for a tasty recipe without too many ingredients. This fitted the bill perfectly except one of the ingredients proved very difficult to find – if you live in Dublin you can get farro or spelt in Fallon & Byrne but we had to go twice to find it!

After all this faffing about looking for farro you can’t even see it in our picture. I promise that is there though (under the duck breast).

This was absolutely fabulous and quite straight forward though I recommend you get organised with all the pans and stuff before you start.

Duck breast with brocoli (for 4 people)

4 duck breasts

4 tablespoons farro (spelt)

145ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 heads of broccoli, separated into florets

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

salt and pepper

  • Take the duck breasts out of the fridge about an hour before you start.
  • Soak the farro in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain.
  • Preheat oven to 220C (gas 7).
  • Bring a pan of unsalted water to the boil and cook the farro for 15 minutes (salted water will make it go hard). Drain and tip onto a tray or big plate. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over and toss to coat the grains and keep them separate. Give them a jiggle every few minutes so they don’t stick together.
  • Blanch the broccoli in boiling salted water for a minute or two to just soften it. Drain and set aside.
  • Score the skin and season the duck; this helps the fat to render. Heat an oven-proof saute pan to medium-hot, then put in the duck, skin-side down, and cook until it turns golden (about 6 minutes). Turn over and cook for 1 minute, then turn down the heat. Take the duck out and keep warm.
  • Drain the fat off the pan, add the Worcestershire sauce and 3 tablespoons of the remaining oil. Stir to emulsify and turn off the heat.
  • Heat a saute pan, add the remaining oil, followed by the garlic and chilli, and cook without colouring for a few minutes.Add the broccoli and saute without allowing to colour, until just soft. Season.
  • In a separate pan, fry the farro without any extra oil until slightly crisp (drain off excess oil as you go). Season.
  • Put the duck into a roasting tray and put in the oven for 2-3 minutes (or more if you like it more done).
  • Spoon the farro into the middle of the plates, and arrange the broccoli around it with the oil.
  • Slice the duck and put on top of the farro and finish with the sauce.

This was so tasty Jono wanted a second helping even though he was stuffed!

We served this with a glass of red 2005 Saint Joseph ‘Les Pierres Leches’ from Yves Cuilleron. Nice medium weight so it doesn’t overwhelm the food but a really tasty and flavoursome Syrah at the same time. Highly recommended.

Julie

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