Following a wine tasting with Fredric, I snagged a couple of leftover bottles of Mazzocco Zinfandel. We tasted through eleven bottles, and I've written previously about the wines during my visit to the winery. I'm not going to go into detail on the wines here, but I will note that fresh out of the bottle many of them are hot and hard to appreciate--15-16% alcohol on all of them, with a few creeping up a bit above 16%. However, with a day of rest after opening, or a few hours of decanting, they're really quite pleasant.
If you find yourself in possession of a pint of leftover red wine, then it's a good excuse to make the classic French dish Bœuf Bourguignon. I roughly followed the recipe from the New York Times, and in the attached article it was noted that the Julia Child recipe, while popular with the success of the recent movie, is too much for the residential kitchen. This is originally a peasant dish that is simply made in a single cooking pot.
I'm not bashing dear Mrs. Child here, nor am I slighting those loyal fans that have gone home and faithfully recreated her recipe. I'm sure it's delicious. But I've made demi-glace from scratch. It took 12 hours. I've made traditional Sauce Robert that took two days. I've helped cook a whole hog that required 24 hours of slow roasting. Sometimes I want the challenge and wish to dirty up every pot and pan in the kitchen. Other times I just want to make dinner.
Served over a bed of broad flat noodles and enhanced with a double quantity of mushrooms, the one-pot dish provided a satisfying dinner for the three of us at the table. Two went back for seconds, always a good sign. With cold weather right around the corner, this is a perfect fall/winter recipe that is even better as leftovers. As with many savory stews, the flavors mingle and improve with a day or two of rest in the refrigerator.