Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yesterday, I spent most of my day at the vineyard.It was such a beautiful day! Around every table on the veranda and out in the yard were groups of laughing friends and happy families, all there to enjoy each other and the vineyard. My job is to make the cheese and meat plates that we sell. They are such a bargain! Warm bread, Boursin cheese, fresh fruit, assorted olives and some crackers! I picked some of the beautiful red and purple leaves from the Cabernet vines and used them on the plate also.
As if sitting outside with a bottle of your favorite wine and a great plate of food isn't enough, add to the mix live jazz! Steve Gray is a very talented jazz guitarist and his music truly floats over the vineyard! I could sit out there with a few good friends, a bottle of wine and be a happy woman for hours!

This beautiful autumn weather definitely makes me want to cook. I've been thinking soups and stews! I love cold weather cooking, but early in the fall, I start thinking about chili and soup and rich meaty stews. When Buffalo Red Wine was released at Somerset Ridge Vineyard, I knew I had to create a buffalo chili using our new wine. I've always wanted to throw a big chili supper at the vineyard, but there never seems to be enough time! I hope you give this a try.

Somerset Ridge Buffalo Red Indian Summer Chili
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 3/4 pounds ground buffalo
1/3 cup dark chili powder
2 1/4 tablespoons seasoning salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to extra-spicy (1 to 3)
1 1/2 large onions, quartered
3 large peppers
1 1/2 cups Somerset Ridge Buffalo Red Wine
3 cans diced tomatoes (14-ounce)undrained
3/4 cup smoky barbecue sauce
3 cans pinto beans, washed and drained, optional

1. Heat a pot over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, and the meat. Season the meat with: chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into small crumbles as it cooks.
2. Chop the onion, reserving 1/4 of it for topping the chili. Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and chopped bell peppers and cook 10 minutes more. Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol. Add tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and bring to a bubble. Let chili simmer until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste. Remove from heat and serve with one or more of the following toppings:
Shredded Cheeses: smoked white sharp cheddar, such as Cabot brand, pepper jack, chipotle Cheddar, 5 peppercorn Cheddar, Monterey jack
Sliced canned jalapenos, drained
Sour cream
Chopped raw onion
Chopped green olives and pimentos
For Chili-Mac, cook and drain 1 pound pasta, mix well
Chopped cilantro leaves
Diced tomatoes
Defrosted frozen corn or leftover corn on the cob, scraped from cob

When I wrote about Arch and his favorite steamed clams using Leinenkugel Beer, I remembered a wonderful beefy casserole recipe I pulled from Leinenkugel's webpage
They call it
1888 Bock Casserole
(By Tom Martin, Eau Galle, WI)
½ lb. (about 8 slices) lean bacon, cubed
1 ½-2 lb. venison or beef steak, cubed
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 - 12 oz. bottle Leinenkugel's 1888 Bock® (Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark can also be used.)
1 can (4-oz.) Mushrooms, pieces & stems
1 lb. (6-8 bunches) green onions, diced (green stalks too)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon sweet basil leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 can (14.5-oz.) beef broth
1 Tablespoon wine or cider vinegar
Mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice
Preparation Time:20 minutes. Cooking Time: 3 hours Serves: 4 Fry bacon. Set bacon aside in deep casserole pan. Add olive oil to bacon grease. Sauté venison or beef in oil mixture until browned. Remove venison or beef from oil mixture and place in casserole pan.
Turn the heat on oil mixture to very low to make the roux. Add the butter to the pan and melt. Place flour and 1/3-cup of Leinenkugel's 1888 Bock in a small jar that can be capped. Shake until mixture is smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to oil mixture to make a roux. Then gradually stir in the remainder of Leinenkugel's 1888 Bock.
Place mushrooms, green onions in the deep casserole dish with the meat, and season with the salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and garlic. Sprinkle the sugar on top.
Pour the roux over all the ingredients in the casserole dish. Add beef broth.
Cover the casserole and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours at 300°F. Check occasionally. Stir once every hour. If the casserole seems too dry, you can add more beer or beef broth.
Remove casserole from oven and mix in the vinegar. Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles
It is time to bring out the Dutch oven, the stock pot, but not the old crockpot. I'm not a huge fan of the crock pot, but there are times when they come in handy. I use mine to keep foods warm for serving rather than cooking . The time required to cook in a crockpot usually blends the flavors into one big pot of mush, everyting tasting the same. There is no variety of flavors....I like to taste all of the flavors, sometimes individually, sometimes together. I figure that is what forks and spoons are for. I can take a bite of one thing, or I can "double load" my fork and taste 2 things at one time! I am a slow foods kind of gal, but the crockpot is too slow for me! Must be my "on the line" experience in restaurants.
Don't Forget! October 11th! 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery
Kansas City's finest artists!
Somerset Ridge Vineyard's finest wines!
Oktoberfest Celebration!
Music and Food!

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