Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chimichurri Steak Salad and a beautiful Italian summer red wine

Nick just arrived home from a whirlwind tour of northern Italy for 'work.'  Poor thing.  He was eager to open a bottle from a winery he spent some time with, Kellerie Bozen.  So we opened one up, looked at all the beautiful pictures from that day, and decided on steak.  The herbal freshness of chimichurri for an afternoon BBQ was perfect.  So perfect we sat for hours, and opened another bottle :)
Chimichurri is an Argentinian herb sauce, that is wonderfully flavourful and amazing with meat.  This Bon Appetit recipe thins the sauce out a bit to double up as a salad dressing.  

1 large bunch of italian parsley
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves (I actually sued basil because I didn't have oregano) 
3 peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Flank Steak - enough for everyone that's coming for dinner
a bowl of baby greens
container of small mozzarella balls

put parsley (stems and all), oregano and garlic into a food processor or blender and blend for ten seconds.  Add the oil and vinegar and hot sauce and blend until almost smooth.  Salt and pepper to your liking.  

marinate steak with oil salt and pepper at room temperature for 45 minutes, and grill to you liking, five minutes a side for medium rare-ish.  Remove from the grill and let it rest off the grill for five minutes.  Slice across the grain.

Mix greens and mozzarella with dressing, as much as you like, but save some to drizzle on top of the steak.  Place steak on top and drizzle with more dressing.  

The Vino.
2010 Kellerie Bozen St. Magdalena Lagrein Perl, Sudtirol Alto-Adige $26.95 (Private Order, available by the case through Nicholas).  This wine is from Sudtirol, Alto-Adige in northern Italy. This is the same winery that produces the amazing Weissburgunder we paired a few weeks back.  I visited the region and winery last week for the first time and it truly is the coolest terroir for grape growing. At 800 metres above sea level, the rolling hills planted with vineyards is oh-so-picturesque. 
Unfortunately Ashley did not get to join me on the Italian tour… but we are planning another one for the near future. Here is a quick recap about the region. Sudtirol is noted for its distinct German and Austrian influences on the wine industry due to the region's long history under the rule of Austria-Hungary and Holy Roman Empires. Because of its unique history and location within the southern Alps and Dolomites, the Südtirol grows a wide range of grape varieties that are unusually not seen in other parts of Italy. These include Weissburgunder (Pinot Bianco), Müller-Thurgau, Schiava and my fav... Lagrein. It is one of the coolest "discovery" grape varieties that I have come across in ages. If you like cool climate Cabernet and Merlot, you gotta give it a try. This single vineyard Lagrein has been poured by the glass at Enoteca Sociale (Sister to the Pizzeria Libretto’s) since they opened. It is always noted for its distinct flavor profile, price/quality and versatility in food pairing. 
This particular one is certainly a reference point for great Lagrein at this price point. Aromas of dark red fruits and berries, liquorice, spices coupled with sweet herbs. It is mid-weight on the palate, not too full and remains really nice with a great freshness to it. It travels through many stages of complexity as it opens up in the glass, so don’t drink it back too quickly. Play with this one a bit. Both powerful and elegant, this silky wine is endowed with tons of personality and class. Each sip will have you coming back for more.
bon appetit.
dinner is served.

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