It’s been a little while since we took a look at some great food to combine with your glass of Italian wine.
But this time around, we’ve decided to look at a food that actually uses wine as its main ingredient.
We’re talking, of course, about a red wine sauce. These sauces can add an interesting flavour to a dish that extends far beyond what you’d get with a standard type of sauce.
Better yet, you can add some variety into the mix. Most types of ketchup or BBQ sauce taste fairly similar, even though ever maker has its own recipe. With a red wine sauce, you get a unique sauce with every vintage of wine that you use. You can imbue the sauce with all of the flavours, tannins, and unique aspects of the wine, while still enjoying it as part of a meal.
Of course, you need to make the sauce before you can really enjoy it. And the thing is that many supermarkets don’t carry wine-based sauces as part of their regular stock, so you may not be able to buy a pre-packaged sauce.
But there’s no joy in that anyway. Here, we’re going to share a great red wine sauce recipe with you, as well as some recommendations for the foods that you should use it on and a couple of wines that you can drink with it.
The following recipe creates enough of the sauce for a couple of servings. You’ll get 1.5 cups worth for your efforts. Of course, you can always scale up the amount of each ingredient that you use if you want to produce more.
This recipe comes courtesy of the wonderful people at Taste in Australia.
The great news about this sauce is that it’s remarkably simple to make. There are very few ingredients and you’ll spend most of the time cooking rather than prepping the sauce.
Here’s what you need:
- A single garlic clove, which you should crush.
- About 30g of butter
- A medium onion, which you should chop finely.
- About a coup of beef or lamb stock
- Half a cup of the red wine of your choice. Dry red wines tend to work best with this recipe, but you can experiment a little bit to find a wine that you like.
The method for creating this wine is as simple as the ingredients list. In fact, you only have to follow a couple of steps to make it.
Pop your butter into a frying pan and heat it over a medium flame until it melts completely. The bottom of the pan should now have a buttery lining.
Add your sliced onions to the pan and cook them for about 3 or 4 minutes. You should notice that the onion softens during this time.
Then, ad your garlic. Cook for another minute or so while stirring. You should notice the interesting fragrance of garlic, butter, and onion filling the air.
This is the moment that you’ve been waiting for. Add your wine into the mix and bring the liquid to the boil. Once that happens, reduce the heat and bring the sauce down to a simmer. Leave it in this state for about five minutes.
After that, add all of your stock into the mix. Raise the temperature until you bring the sauce back up to the boil, then reduce the heat again to bring it down to a simmer.
Leave the sauce to simmer for a further 10 minutes or so and you should see it thicken.
You have a red wine sauce. You may wish to season it with a little salt or pepper, but it’s good to go.
What Should You Combine it With
Of course, this just covers the sauce itself. You’re obviously going to want to combine it with food of some description.
Well… you could just drink it. But we can’t imagine many people wanting to do that.
So, what does a good red wine sauce go with?
You have to remember that the strength of red wine plays a role here. If you drench a light meat, such as chicken or fish, in the sauce, you’ll end up overpowering it.
As a result, red wine sauce tends to work well as an accompaniment to richer meats. It’s particularly good when served over beef. In particular, it goes very well with a choice cut of steak. It’s also great for combining with lamb, if you’re looking for something a little different to mint sauce.
Of course, we’ll add the usual mention of how the best combination is the one that you enjoy most. Just be wary of creating a sauce that’s so potent that you can’t taste whatever you cover with it.
Some Good Wine Combinations
With a red wine sauce, it’s easy to suggest using the same wine that you used in making the sauce as the wine combination.
But it’s not always that easy. Remember that the food that you’ll coat with the sauce adds an entirely different dimension. Plus, the sauce itself contains stock, garlic, and onions.
As a result, it’s best to consider the meat, as well as the sauce itself, when choosing a wine to pair here. You have a lot of rich flavours going on, so you can’t choose a wine that gets drowned out.
If you’ve gone the beef or lamb route, a rich Italian red wine will usually do. Amarone is a good choice, as are the old Italian favourites of Chianti and Barolo.
But you may have to experiment a little. The type of wine you use to make the sauce affects the entire complexion of the dish. That, in turn, may affect the wine pairing that works best with the dish.
The Final Word
There you have it. A tasty red wine sauce that you can start experimenting with today. Give it a try during your next meal and let us know what you think about it.