Joining British Farmers in Celebrating Great British Beef Week
What is the Great British Beef Week?
We are currently living in uncertain times but we hope this celebration of British food will go ahead! The 2020 Great British Beef Week will run from 23rd to 30th April. It’s a week where farmers, butchers and retailers get behind the British beef industry and revel in the versatility and taste of our beef.
In 2020 the campaign is being spearheaded by Ladies in Beef, an organisation of female beef farmers who joined forces to promote and drive awareness of the quality of British beef to consumers. All of the women are British beef farmers and proud of it!
Pointers to bear in mind when considering which wine to serve with beef
There are three – actually let’s say four – things to bear in mind when you’re wondering what wine to serve this Great British Beef Week.
- Whatever the rule book says, it’s always most important to drink a wine that you enjoy!
- Do give some thought to the cut of the meat and how rare or well-done it’s likely to be. Ribeye is generally a fattier cut and if that’s your choice then head for a fuller-bodied red wine. Sirloin meanwhile will fair nicely with something less intense. For those that like their meat rare consider wines with tannin and body, whilst a medium to well-done roast might lend itself to something more subtle or with bottle age.
- Consider the sauces: gravy; horseradish; peppercorn; salsa verde; mustard or teriyaki. Ideally, avoid putting lighter-bodied wines with bold sauces and if you like horseradish by the spoonful, make sure it’s a wine with plenty of gusto!
- Lastly, spare a thought for whatever you are planning to serve up alongside. Too many flavours on the plate and in the glass can leave your poor taste buds exhausted. Keep it simple.
Some Delicious Wine Pairings for Classic Beef Dishes
We’re assuming you’re going all out here with roast potatoes and all the trimmings and that you’re aiming for medium to well done to keep everyone happy. If that’s the case then we like:
Château Couronneau Bordeaux Supérieur because it has the depth of fruit to cope with most accompaniments and isn’t excessively tannic. We also have a soft spot for the Clos de Caveau Vacqueras ‘Fruit Sauvage’ which is a blend of Grenache and Syrah. It’s such a gloriously earthy wine that it feels instinctively like our beef farmers would love it!
We’ve enjoyed it at home with the La Corte del Pozzo Valpolicella which has just the right amount of bite to marry nicely with the sauce. Although not yet tried, I have a suspicion the Loire Cabernet Franc, Les Quarterons St Nicolas de Bourgueil would work just as well for similar reasons.
There have to be as many beef stew recipes as there are Irish mothers-in-law. It seems crackers to be brave enough to make any definitive recommendations!
Also, as my mother-in-law is teetotal, I don’t have a great deal of experience to draw from. If I have made a beef stew when the in-laws come to stay, I’m at least able to treat myself as I don’t have to share! It’s a Pinot Noir for me. Either the New Zealand Terrace Edge Pinot Noir or the wonderfully moreish, Meinklang Pinot Noir.
This is as luxurious a beef dish as they come. Prime beef fillet, gorgeous mushrooms and pastry; it’s a combo that deserves the best.
Château Beauséjour would be an elegant and traditional choice. A less obvious but equally delicious wine to try would be the award-winning Barone Pizzini Estatatura which is a sophisticated blend of sangiovese and carignan.
There are no choices here – sorry! Time and time again, the winning choice for Cottage Pie is a juicy, low-tannin Beaujolais. We have three for you to choose from. Click here.
Are there any white wines that can work with Beef?
We have said it before and we will say it again.. eat what you like and drink what you enjoy! Food pairings, though often helpful and well-meaning, can sometimes take the fun out of it all.
We know plenty of people who like their rump served rare but can’t bring themselves to drink a glass of red. That’s just fine.
Which wine to use as an ingredient when you are cooking Beef Bourguignon or Beef Wellington
The author of this blog is the slightly sheepish (wrong animal pun!) of at least two hundred cookery books. They are much loved and treasured; the best ones read for the sheer joy of cookery that they communicate.
Nevertheless, I respectfully chuckle at the great list of food writers and chefs who will nonchalantly recommend a bottle of top-end Burgundy here or 375ml of your finest Pomerol there… I’ve turned out my share of stews, wellingtons and Bourguignonnes in my time and even if I say so myself, none suffered unduly for being braised or cooked in a sensibly priced, well-made bottle of Southern French merlot or similar.
If you’re fighting for a finalists spot on Masterchef or for a third Michelin star you may feel differently but otherwise, relax!
Most important is to make sure you use a wine that you’re happy to drink if you find yourself with a glass or more leftover.
Here are three well-priced red wines that will make your beef sing and give you a chance to join in!
The medium-bodied, easy-drinking French Cuvee Gabriel Merlot is a top choice