Wines of Place
Fifty Years of Ridge
Judgment of Paris
Historic Monte Bello
Braised Lamb Shank over Mashed Potatoes
Lytton Estate Syrah Grenache
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Braised Lamb Shank over Mashed Potatoes
Pair with Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache
6 each lamb shanks
salt & pepper
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup blended oil
1 onion, peeled & roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
6 whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons chopped thyme
3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 325 F
Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Dredge lamb shanks in flour. In a large roasting pan, heat oil over medium heat and sear lamb shanks on all sides until golden. Remove lamb to a bowl. Add onions, carrots, fennel and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat until vegetables start to turn color and caramelize. Add thyme, rosemary, parsley and tomato paste. Cook to soften paste. Deglaze with red wine. Add chicken stock. Return lamb to roasting pan. Bring to a simmer and cover with a lid. Braise in the oven for at least 2 hours or until meat is tender and easily pulls off the bone. Every half hour, turn the lamb and skim off excess fat. Serve on a large serving platter.
Yields: 3 cups 4 potatoes, russet, peeled and cubed 2/3 cup cream 4 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water and cook until soft. Remove from water and run potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer. Place remaining ingredients in a saute pot and heat until butter has melted into cream mixture. Place potatoes in a large bowl and using a whisk slowly work in cream mixture. Once all the liquid has been added whisk potatoes until they obtain a nice light and fluffy texture. Adjust seasoning as needed. Sondra Bernstein, proprietor of the award winning restaurants Girl & the Fig and Estate in Sonoma, knows a thing or two about pairing dishes with Syrah and Grenache as her wine list at Girl & the Fig is made up entirely of varietals native to the Rhone Valley in France (which includes Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, etc). Sondra offers the following pairing to accompany our Syrah Grenache.
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Ratatouille and Buchignani Carignane
Pair with Ridge
Aside from being fun to say, ratatouille is, in the end, vegetable stew. If you buy your ingredients fresh, local and in season, the only challenge is timing. The peppers and onions take longer to cook so they go in first. The softer eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes go in later. Like any dish cooked over many hours, dialing in the heat so it bubbles ever so slowly, is important. I have the most success in the oven at low temperature. Others prefer the range top. The oven has the added advantage of a door that keeps curious passer-bys from opening the lid which lets all the heat out and upsets the rhythm of the cooking. Going to the trouble to get fresh herbs is worthwhile. Old, dry bay leaves that crumble when folded add little flavor and just wind up stuck in your teeth.
Recipe by John Olney, Vice President and Winemaker at Ridge’s Lytton Springs Winery in Sonoma County.
3 red or yellow bell peppers, cut in strips, then cut in half
2-3 onions roughly chopped
8 tomatoes sliced in half, seeded, then cut in smaller chunks
4-5 zucchini no thicker than a sausage cut into ½ inch slices
2 full size or 3 medium size eggplants cut into 1” squares
6-7 cloves garlic peeled and roughly diced
Thyme, parsley, bay leaf, pinch of cayenne if you like it hot
Liberally oil a large enamel pot, put over high heat on the stove top and add the onions. After a few minutes of stirring, add the peppers and turn down to medium heat. Add 3 pinches of salt, 4 if you want it to taste better.
Turn on the oven to 250. While it’s pre-heating, slice the tomatoes in half, give them a light squeeze and flick of the wrist over the sink to get rid of most of the seeds, then cut each half 2-3 more times. Add the garlic, stir for a minute, then add the tomatoes, using their juice to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Tie 2-3 sprigs of thyme, parsley and a bay leaf up into a bundle with kitchen string and throw it in. Look in the pot to see if the tomatoes have submerged everything. If not, have a can of diced tomatoes handy to throw on top. Then turn up the heat until it all boils. When it does, cover with a lid, put into the oven and adjust heat so it cooks slowly.
While that’s cooking, cut the zucchini and eggplant, spread them out on a towel and sprinkle with salt. After 45 minutes of cooking, take out the pot, add the zucchini and eggplant, re-lid and put back in the oven for about 2 hours. When the skin on the peppers slides off easily but before the flesh disintegrates, it’s done and ready to serve with basil all over the top. It is not possible to add too much basil.
The last step is optional but well worth it. Immediately after it comes out of the oven, dump the whole thing into a strainer, catching all the juice in a large, deep skillet beneath. Put the skillet over the highest flame you have, reduce it to a syrup and pour over the entire dish. Whatever pan you use for the reduction will need a week of soaking and scrubbing to clean, but your ratatouille will be exponentially improved.
Be sure the Carignane is at cellar, not room temperature. If it is at room temperature, try putting it in the fridge for 20 minutes.