Going Green with the 2009 Puydeval & Homemade Shepherd’s Pie

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I know most of you are thinking, sure it is, you just love the excuse to day drink…While any reason to have an extra glass of wine always makes me smile, I like St Patrick’s Day for other reasons. I love that it puts so many people in a great mood, I really enjoy Irish fare, and okay, I also appreciate the fact that everyone is abuzz with talk of beer, cocktails, and wine. This year I decided to celebrate by making an Irish feast for my supper club, a group of fabulous women who take turns hosting weekly dinners. Choosing the beer was easy: Guinness. Choosing the liquor was easier: Irish Whiskey. But Irish wine? I could have gone with Meade but instead of attempting to stay on the island, I decided to just serve something delicious that paired well with the food. Good thing my friends at the Urban Grape in Chestnut Hill had the perfect solution: the 2009 Puydeval. This wine was so good that I decided it just had to be our wine of the week!

2009 Puydeval

This wine is a blend of Cab Franc, Syrah, and Merlot from the Vin De Pay D’oc and it is a terrific value at $15. It emits a beautiful bouquet of flowers, blackberries, licorice, pepper, and a hint of basil. It is a perfect representation of all its varietals. In the palate it is rich, spicy and very well balanced and its lingering finish is elegant and complex making you rush to your next sip. Needless to say, it was absolutely perfect with our stew!

Even though I usually separate my wine of the week from its recipe pairing, I decided that I made you wait long enough.. Here is my shepherd’s pie recipe that is delicious all year round!

Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 6

Stew Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs lamb stew meat, carefully trimmed
2 leeks (wash well), white and pale green parts only chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 yellow onions, cut into ½ inch wedges
1 shallot, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 bottle of full bodied red wine
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons butter
flour as needed
salt and pepper to taste

Stew Cooking Instructions

Heat 3 tablespoons oil (I prefer canola bc it gets hotter and does not impart flavors) in large pot
Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper
Brown meat on all sides, working in batches (about 3/4 minutes each side)
Place meat aside
Add leeks, garlic, onions, and shallots and cook until onion is light gold (about 10 minutes), deglazing pan as you do this
Add carrots, parsnips, rosemary and thyme and cook on high heat until veggies are roasted but not mushy (about 12-15 minutes), stirring every few minutes
Add mushrooms, sprinkle salt and pepper and continue to stir for about 3 minutes
Transfer all veggies to bowl
Add wine and broth to pot and reduce until 2 cups (about 20 minutes)
Add meat and vegetables and butter to pot and simmer for 1 1/2- 2 hours (lamb meat should fall apart easily), skim top of stew occasionally to get rid of extra fat
Thicken with flour as desired
Season with salt and pepper

(Everyone has their own “super secret, super awesome” mashed potato recipe so I say use yours, or if you want try mine.)

Masked Potatoes Ingredients

3 yukon potatoes, cleaned, chopped into 1 inch pieces, skin still on
½ stick butter
½ cup fat free Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste (but the stew can get pretty salty so be careful)

Mashed Potatoes Cooking Instructions

Boil potatoes until completely soft
Drain potatoes and then put back into pot
Mix in all other ingredients with electric mixer

Combining & Finishing the Stew & Mashed Potatoes

Put stew in ovenproof large shallow pot (I had to use 2)
Dollop potatoes over stew
Bake for 10 minutes at 400
Broil for 7 minutes (Broilers all work differently so I would do 3 minutes at a time, rotating pan every time you check)

For more great supper club recipes and drink pairings please visit: http://suppersanityclub.blogspot.com/

March 27th, 2011
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