Saturday, September 19, 2015

Wine and Cola Braised Beef Shanks with Diamante Des Karantes

This month for French Winophiles, led by Christie of Confession of a Culinary Diva, we are visiting the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.

This is a coastal region whose wines are the up and coming new jewels of France.  The area is known not only for it's wonderful food and wines but also for it Medieval History and many tourists visit this area to tour the ancient castles.

I went to my local (half an hour away) International Market place as opposed to our local (45 min to an hour) away wine store.  Last week when we were celebrating WinePW and I went to the International Market Place looking for a wine for Santorini, I had no luck finding anyone to help me and was told that the lady "who knew about wines" would be back in a couple of hours.  This week however, we were met by Joe who is new to the store and in training to go to another store.  Joe is very knowledgeable about wines and has spent time in France learning about their wines.  When I asked for a wine from the Languedoc region there was only one choice available but Joe assured me it was a great choice and that we were going to love it.  I decided to give it a go and pay the $55 for this wine rather than driving further to the wine store, not knowing if I would find anything as good that was less expensive and wasting time and money for gas even if they did have a larger selection.

Diamant is named for the diamond shaped land on which the winery sits. It comes from an ancestral vineyard and it is aged in oak casks.  Diamant is 34% Syrah, 33% Grenaches and 33% Mourvedre.

To showcase this wine I was intending on making Wine and Cola Braised Short Ribs from a recipe I had found in Cuisine at Home.  When I went to grab short ribs from the freezer I learned that we are out of them, but I did have some Beef Shanks which are just as good or even better for braising. Then, those of you who know me will not be surprised, I also didn't have several of the other items that the dish called for so I ended up winging it.  I did have the wine and cola so I left the name the same LOL.

So when the Beef Shanks were about done, the potatoes simmering and the squash was roasting we opened the bottle to allow it to breathe....and, of course, we poured ourselves a little sip....well a medium sip LOL.  You know that old get what you pay for?  Folks any bottle of wine in our household that is more than $30 is considered a splurge and you know what we got for $55?  We got a silky smooth sip that tasted bright but not light. It had a medium heavy feel on the palate with overtones of berries and licorice.  It was D E L I C I O U S....and that was without allowing it to breathe and drinking it sans food.

We have 3 dogs and we had 3 beef shanks.  I removed the meat from the bones and plated it along with the roasted squash while Frank mashed the potatoes.  The dogs got their bones outside while we enjoyed our dinner inside.  It was a happy night for all of us.

The wine was good before dinner.  The wine was good with dinner.  The wine was good after dinner, while sitting in the hot tub.  The wine was good.  So was the dinner.  So was relaxing in the hot tub.  I hope your Saturday night was just as good as ours.

Wine and Cola Braised Beef Shanks
very loosely adapted from Cuisine at Home

3 or 4 Beef Shanks
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil
1 onion
2 carrots, scraped
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
2 T. sweet paprika
2 T. Tomato Paste
1/2 cup port or sherry wine
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 c. red wine
1 can cola

Pat beef shanks dry with a paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Heat a dutch oven over med high heat.  Add enough olive oil to cover bottom and allow to heat but not to smoke.  Sear the Beef Shanks on both sides in the hot oil.  Remove to a plate.

While Beef Shanks are searing, place vegetables in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.  When beef shanks are removed to the plate add the minced vegetables to the hot pan, cook and stir for a few minutes, add the paprika and tomato paste, cook and stir a couple minutes longer. Add the port or sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is evaporated.  Add the orange zest, orange juice, wine and cola to the pan. Return the beef shanks to the pan submerging them in the liquid.  Add a 5 or 6 stems of parsley to the pan, cover tightly  and place in a 300* oven for 3-4 hours.  Print Recipe

Let's take a look at what the others found to share with us from this region of France

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  1. Wendy, recipe ingredients notwithstanding, you clearly know your way around a dutch oven and braising! I love the return of cool weather and dutch oven season!

    1. I love braising foods Jeff. Taking an inexpensive cut of meat and turning it into a tender savory dish amazes me.

  2. Great meal! Your beef shanks look fantastic and the wine sounds like the splurge was worth it. I am definitely going to make this recipe. Thank you Wendy.

    1. I hope you enjoy it Michelle. Please let me know what you think. And the splurge was definitely worth it.

  3. Wow! The entire meal sounds fantasmic! Beautiful wine, and the beef shanks are mouth-watering. I can only imagine how happy your four legged kids were too!

    Definitely seems like a splurge worthy wine and dinner!

  4. Beautiful food! And looks good enough to eat!!


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