Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s Valetine’s Day! So maybe it’s going to be a bit difficult to tell everyone to not just fly off to the wine aisles for the nearest bottle of £10 sparkling wine, but I’m going to try. What can be nicer on a cold, wet, and windy night than sitting round over a warming bottle of red and some big, hearty bowls full of food?
Well that’s exactly what I’m saying for Touriga Nacional week here. I’m writing this as I’m looking out the window of my flat, at the wind lashing down at the poor buggers wandering round the streets outside. I’m seriously tempted to start my Touriga tasting right now! And to be fair, after I’ve been to pick up the last few bits and pieces for dinner, I think I might just do that!
So back to the food pairing. Today is a good day to cook. Lads, girls like a fella that can cook, shows a bit of domesticity that you may not otherwise display in other areas of the household. And girls, they say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. There are other ways, but this is a family game, so let’s stick with the food and wine for now.
So by now you’ll hopefully have one or more bottles of Touriga Nacional sat on the dining table (make sure you pour into a jug or open decanter an hour or two before you drink them!). Big fat wine, which these will be, need big fat meals to go with them. I’ve already seen some amazing efforts from a couple of NWTW followers, including goat chops, and medium rare steaks. They looked great.
I’m going to go for something based around Portuguese sauce. I learnt this doing a cooking school at the Cordon Bleu school in London. It’s basically just a normal tomato based sauce, but laden with garlic and tarragon. It doesn’t take that long to make either.
So you’ll need 8 decent sized tomatoes, skinned (check youtube on how) and sliced up. Sweat 3 diced onions and 5 diced cloves of garlic in a pan. Then add the diced tomatoes and a couple of bunches of tarragon. Salt and pepper to taste.
We’re going to throw in some of Paolo’s (regular readers know who he is!) signature meatballs. Throw together 500g of minced beef, 250g minced pork, 2 eggs, 200g of parmesan, and 250g of bread into a food processor and then roll yourself your meatballs from there. You can cook these separately in the oven then add them to the sauce, but I’ll probably do them together on a low heat. Takes a bit longer but the taste is a bit more together.
You can eat it with pasta or crusty bread, or all on it’s own. Either way I know it’s going to keep you all warm tonight. Amoungst other things…
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Other posts in NWTW Week 6: