Pairing of the Day: October 4-8, 2010
Bacon Burgers on Brioche Buns
The burger at Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco is called Le Grand with good reason: It's a custom blend of ground prime rib, brisket, skirt steak and tenderloin, topped with Nueske's bacon and Cowgirl Creamery's triple-cream Mt. Tam cheese. The recipe is also delicious with a mix of chuck and sirloin.
Pairing: Juicy, spicy Australian Shiraz: 2009 Spring Seed Wine Co. Scarlett Runner
The chef at Osteria di San Cesario, Anna Dente, is known as the Queen of Matriciana. She not only makes the pasta and sauce herself, she draws on her family's four decades in the butchering business to make her own guanciale (cured hog jowl)—though the sauce is also fantastic made with pancetta.
Pairing: Rich Frascati: 2008 Fontana Candida Luna Mater or 2008 Castel de Paolis Donna Adriana
To make her Sunday-supper scarpariello—chicken sautéed in a tangy lemon glaze with bell pepper—Fran Parisi always uses a whole chicken cut into pieces, then cooks it on the stove for hours. Grace Parisi opts for faster-cooking boneless thighs and skips the bell pepper in favor of jarred Peppadews, sweet-spicy pickled peppers from South Africa, sold in many US supermarkets.
Pairing: Bright, cherry-rich Chianti Classico: 2007 Rocca delle Macìe
Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
"A good sauce is the bridge between the meat and the wine," says Ken Frank. When pairing beef with Cabernet, he usually serves a hearty red-wine sauce, like the one on these short ribs. Veal stock gives the dish extra-deep flavor, but chicken stock (preferably homemade) works well too.
Pairing: Napa Cabernet: 2006 Ladera or 2007 Oberon
Hazelnut-and-Chocolate Meringue Cake
This extraordinary dessert, made with crisp chocolate-hazelnut meringue and whipped cream, is simple to make. But pastry chef Daniel Jasso of Portland, Oregon's Genoa restaurant has nicknamed it "the beast," because slicing it can be tricky—the meringue tends to crumble. The solution: Freeze the cake, cut it with a serrated knife and let it return to room temperature before serving.
Pairing: Nutty, chocolaty Madeira: Broadbent 3 Year Fine Rich