I always thought I was a red wine kind of gal. It seemed like the obvious (and easy) choice to pair with robust flavours and meat; white wines were reserved for seafood and dessert. However, I’m learning that certain white wines can also stand up to richer tastes. We eat quite a bit of asian food at home (chinese, indian, sri lankan, thai…) and what they all have in common: lots of spices! The sweetness of a Riesling is perfect to counterbalance all that heat! In fact, it’s one of the rare wines that can. Its typical tasting notes: tropical fruits, flowers and minerals which will completement this fragrant curry.
For four servings
- 1 1/2 lb of beef cubes (the ones cut for stews are perfect!)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp of fresh ginger, grated
- 3-4 green chillies, sliced*
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 5-6 fresh curry leaves (if you can’t find, don’t sweat it!)
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp of chili powder
- 1 tsp of garam masala
- 1 tbsp of tumeric
- 1 tsp of flour
- 5 tbsp of coconut or vegetable oil
- A handful of chopped cilantro
- Salt to taste
*This curry is pretty hot! If you can’t take the heat, omit the chillies.
Combine all your spices (coriandre, chili powder, garam masala and tumeric) together. Take 1 tbsp of the spices, add to the 1 tsp of flour and coat your meat with this mix. In a pan at high heat, brown meat in a bit of oil on all sides and remove from pan. This part is crucial to make sure your meat stays nice and tender. Set aside.
Add more oil to the pan and sauté your onions and tomato until soft and golden. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Now it’s time to add the remaining spices, salt to taste + the curry leaves. Let cook for a couple of minutes. Re-add the beef and a splash of water (just enough so the sauce covers the beef). Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, cover and let cook for 1h30 to 2h. You can uncover for the last half hour, it will help thicken the sauce. When it’s done, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with rice, naan or chapati*.
*Click here for an easy chapati recipe!
WHY IT WORKS
Repeat after me: SWEET LIKES HEAT! You need some sharp acidity and sweetness to soothe your burning tongue. Since this wine is served cold it can also help quench your thirst and the less alcohol the better since it will not overwhelm your senses. You don’t want to get out of table feeling dizzy!
Always opt for a dry or semi-dry Riesling rather than a dessert one which could be too sweet. Here are my three selections for the week:
- Relax Riesling, Germany (13,40$)
- Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling, USA (18,75$)
Weingut Wittmann Riesling 100 Hills 2015, Germany (20,20$)*BIO
- This awesome wine blog: Wine Folly
- Wikipedia (just search Riesling!)
- L’Essentiel de Chartier
- Riesling and Food – Dr. Loosen estate winery