Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lovers’ Steak with Dante Rivetti Bricco de Neueis Riserva 1996

When the Globe and Mail published Lucy Waverman’s recipe for Lovers’ Steak last week, Michèle and I independently had the same reaction: here’s our Valentine’s Dinner. Lucy has become one of our favourite food writers; her recipes are straightforward and we haven’t been disappointed in any one of them.

Lovers’ Steak is a New York Sirloin – your butcher may know it better as a strip loin steak – that’s marinated for one hour in olive oil, chopped garlic, grainy Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sambal oelek, and chopped fresh rosemary. The steak is pan seared and then oven roasted. It’s accompanied by a sauce made with cherry tomatoes, chopped onion, thinly sliced garlic, slivered King mushrooms, and beef stock.

Lucy’s recipe included Potato Confit, so we made that as well. The recipe is simple and quick, so something perfect for a Monday night and an unproven chef (that's him over there on the right).

Michèle assumed the role of both prep chef and executive chef, making sure that the meat wasn’t overdone. She has an uncanny sense of when meat is done. For us, 5 minutes in the oven (instead of the 8 to 12 minutes in the recipe) was enough for medium rare.

Our Lovers’ Steak turned out beautifully (you have to go elsewhere today for modesty) with wonderfully integrated flavours where each ingredient plays a role in the ensemble, but nobody hogs the stage. The sambal oelek adds just the right bite.

For the wine, I chose Dante Rivetti Bricco de Neueis Riserva 1996, DOCG Barbaresco, 14% ABV. We’re becoming bigger fans of the Nebbiolo grape and this bottle shows us why. The appearance of the wine is identical to an aged Burgundy, ruby with notable brick tones. Aromas of red cherry and other red fruits, plum, dried herbs, floral (violet, I think…maybe roses), liquorice, and tar. The high acidity is tart at first; surprisingly austere but softens a bit as the wine has time to open up. Cherry and minerality dominate on the taste. Good drying tannic structure as well. Impressive length. Definitely a food wine. Where the wine seemed austere on its own, the flavours, tannins and acidity all matched up perfectly with the steak and its accompanying sauce. Nebbiolo often demands cellaring and patience. Boy, does it pay off. And yes, 1996 is the year we got married.  ♥☺

For dessert, Michèle made another one of Lucy’s recipes: Chocolate Soufflé with Orange Cream. Another winner!

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1 comment:

  1. That sounds delicious. I may have to go home and eat beef tonight.