Tuesday, June 13, 2006

~June Cooking With Washington Wines~

It was my birthday last week and my "Chefy-Cheferton" sister invited friends and me over for dinner. She prepared one of her many grilled specialties (and one my favorites) - Beef Bulgogi. "Bul" is the Korean word for "fire", and "gogi" is "meat" = Fire Meat. Beef Bulgogi is one of Korea's most popular beef dishes. It is made from thinly sliced sirloin or another prime cut of beef. The meat is marinated, grilled and slices of this tasty beef is often served with a side of lettuce wrapped like a spring roll or taco. This particular evening, Caren chose a London broil and marinated and grilled the whole cut. Traditionally, you marinate the steak already sliced in thin strips. Skirt steak works well for this. Usually she uses carrots as per the recipe, but because local asparagus is in season, she grilled asparagus as the vegetable for the evening.

Beef Bulgogi

1 pound thinly sliced steak
5 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves finely chopped garlic (or crushed)
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp Mirin (sweet sake, optional)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 cup split green onions
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (optional)

Cooking Directions: Mix all ingredients except carrots. Marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours. Cook over medium high heat until beef is cooked to your liking. Add carrots and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Serve with rice.

We paired the bulgogi with a valley wine, of course. In fact, the particular wine we chose was a newly released Merlot 2004 from Mannina Cellars. Mannina is a new winery in town and hopefully will have its tasting room opened this summer (I have lots more to tell about this new winery and its winemaker, so expect a later post ASAP). Right now I want to talk about how well this wine paired with our meal.

The Merlot from Mannina Cellars is blended with 17% Cabernet Sauvignon. I thought the touch of Cabernet Sauvignon really added style to the wine. A dinner guest immediately noticed the rich red color coming from his wine glass. The two "Merlot-Scoffers" in the bunch commented on the well-roundedness of the wine and seemed pleasantly surprised. It had a wonderful cherry pie nose that continued in the taste. One of the comments was their memory of a freshly baked cobbler of dark summer fruits like plums and cherries. They appreciated that this particular Merlot did not have a spicy finish, so it paired very well and didn't contradict the spiciness of the beef. The tannins were light and the fruit of the wine really showed through (also note the lovely watercolor on the label by local artist, Squire Broel).

The consensus of this group? They thought it was an excellent wine and a perfect dining choice.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...