[WINE PAIRING] Côtes-du-Rhône + Turkey Leek Pie

Thanksgiving weekend is coming up (for us Canadians!) and you gotta believe we are going to have some leftover turkey. So much so that we won’t know what to do with it. Well I have the perfect solution for you!…Well actually Jamie Oliver has the perfect solution but I’ve been making this recipe for so many years that I kind of made it my own with minor changes.

Since it’s a special occasion we are going to pair it with an equally special wine.  Typically Rhône wines are made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre and have typical tasting notes of berries, dried herbs, baking spices and lavender. Other countries produce wines that are made from the same GSM blend but they are not to be confused with true Côtes-du-Rhône wines which are exclusively produced in the region with the same name in Southern France. They are divided into four categories: Côtes-du-Rhône AOC*, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages AOC, Côtes-du-Rhône (named) Villages, which only 18 villages are allowed to claim their name on the bottle, and Crus. The most renowned of them would be Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a Cru) which got its name when the pope moved to Avignon, France temporarily in 1309. So always look at what’s written on the bottle because it will be the best indicator of the quality of the wine.

*AOC: Appellation d’Origine Controllée/ Protected Designation of Origin

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INGREDIENTS

  • 5 slices of bacon, chopped
  • ½ tsp of fresh thyme
  • 5 medium leeks , washed and chopped
  • 4 cups of leftover turkey meat or pre-cooked chicken
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of cooking cream (35%)
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • A handful of sage leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 1 egg (for an eggwash)

MAKING IT

Preheat your oven at 375°.

In a large pan, drizzle some olive oil and turn the heat to medium-high. Drop your bacon in there and let it crisp up a bit. Add the leeks, reduce heat to medium, cover and let cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. When the leeks are done, add the turkey (or chicken) meat, the flour, the stock, salt and pepper. Stir and then add the heavy cream. Bring everything to a boil, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat, sieve the mixture reserving the sauce in a seperate bowl for later. Spoon the thick turkey/leek mixture into a deep baking dish and spread it out evenly. Set aside. On a clean, flour-dusted surface, roll out your puff pastry, tear your sage leaves and sprinkle them on top of if, fold the dough in half and then roll it out again. Transfer the dough on top of the baking dish and poke some holes in it to let the moisture out. You can get creative with the design if you want, just like a pie! Brush the eggwash on top to make the pastry nice and shiny. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remember the liquid we set aside earlier? Just heat it back up and serve it with the pie. If it’s too runny, just bring it to a boil and let it reduce.

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WHY IT WORKS

We all love eating bacon and flaky pastry but all that salt and all that fat can overwhelm our palate quickly. High tannin wines cleanse your palate leaving you wanting more! Then it becomes a vicious cycle…You eat more of this delicious pie then you have a sip of wine, then another bite and another sip of wine…Before you know it, you’re sitting in front of empty plate and an empty bottle wondering what happened and where it all went because it was too good to stop. That’s why it works.

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WINE SELECTIONS

I selected four wines (one for each of the categories) which are in order of quality and subsequently in order of price. If you notice #4 has no year written with it. Fun fact: it means that they have blended many vintages together in order to produce it. By doing this, a producer can insure quality and consistency even during a poor harvest.

  1. Michel Gassier Les Halos de Jupiter Côtes du Rhône 2015, France (17,90$)
  2. J.L. Chave Sélection Mon Coeur 2015, France (23,30$)

  3. Domaine Les Hautes Cances Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Col du Débat 2012, France (31,50$)

  4. Père Anselme La Fiole du Pape, France (38,35$)


References

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