Food and Wine Pairing: Beef Empanadas with 2008 Oveja Negra Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah, Maule Valley, Chile
What a great week for Chile a few weeks ago, huh?!Â I donât know about you all, but I was riveted by the rescue of the Chilean miners, and couldnât get enough of their stories.
Coincidentally, I received a couple of red blends from Chile as samples that same week, and included in the package were a couple of recipes, along with a spice mixture called merquĂŠn.Â When I spied the recipe for beef empanadas, I knew immediately I wanted to make them.
Now hereâs the thing â I donât make recipes that require that I make dough â from scratch â first.Â (Even if my friends who are skilled cooks say, âOh, itâs soooo easy!â Which they do say, blast âem.) But I wanted to make the empanadas anyway, and lo and behold, you can buy empanada shells!Â How great is that?!
So I made beef empanadas (recipe below) and paired them with the 2008 Oveja Negra Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah from Chileâs Maule Valley.
âThe 2008 Oveja Negra Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah is intense ruby-red in color with an interesting nose featuring aromas of black fruits such as blackberry and blueberry, with a spicy note of black pepper and a touch of leather, all enwrapped in soft notes of oak from its barrel aging. Juicy and well-balanced on the medium to high intensity palate, with plenty of fruit flavor leading to notes of spice and a soft touch of caramel. Firm, ripe tannins.â
68% Cab, 32% Syrah. 14% alcohol by volume. Screw cap closure.Â About $12 retail.
The wine had some really nice smoke and spice notes, and because itâs a blend of Cabernet and Syrah, itâs a big, dense wine, so pairing it with a rich, smoky meat dish works well.Â The smoke and spice notes in the wine were a perfect complement to the merquĂŠn spice mixture I used in the beef empanadas
Recipe:Â Beef Empanadas
â˘ 1 lb. ground beef
â˘ 2 tbsp. butter
â˘ 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
â˘ 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
â˘ 3 oz. green chili peppers
â˘ 1 bay leaf
â˘ 1/4 tsp. salt
â˘ 1 tsp. merquĂŠn
â˘ 2 tbsp. black olives (chopped)
â˘ 1 package empanada shells (or other pastry dough, like phyllo dough)
â˘ 1 egg yolk
â˘ 1 tbsp. water
â˘ SautĂŠ onion in butter; add beef and brown lightly.
â˘ Add tomatoes, green chilies and bay leaf, merquĂŠn, and salt; simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates.
â˘ Remove from heat, discard bay leaf. Stir in olives.
â˘ Place about 3 tablespoons of filling in one half of each round; fold over other half. Press edges together with fingers to seal, and use a fork to flute edges.
â˘ Cut slits on top of each empanada. Brush with egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Bake at 400Âş for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
â˘ I used Goya empanada shells (it will say âDiscos Grandesâ on the package)
â˘ Rather than add the tomatoes at the beginning, as the recipe calls for, you could add them at the end, since tomatoes are a fruit and they break down while cooking. I didnât mind this, though.
Â Note:Â The wine was received as a sample.