During winter, in-between hibernating sessions, I love to spend precious time in the kitchen cooking and creating wholesome, heart-warming food to nourish my wintery soul. Windfall Wine, together with ManCrave, recently gave me a reason to get out from under my blankets and head to the kitchen with a beautiful recipe box and a bottle of Windfall‘s stunning Kibali wine.
Let me start off by saying that this is a collaboration of note. If you don’t know Clement Pedro from ManCrave, do yourself a favour and head over to his page. He is the master of big chunks of meat, but more so, a hungry food explorer and celebrity chef, to name only a few of the hats he wears. Pair his appetite for good food with a stunning offering from Windfall Wine, and you have the ultimate winter indulgence – red wine and slow cooked Boeuf Bourguignon.
Now, before we all get tripped up on that last word – I can’t pronounce it to save my life. I know exactly what it is, how it’s prepared, and even how to spell it, but the endless string of vowels simply leave me dumbfounded. So, for all intents and purposes of this blog, the dish shall now be known herewith forward as Bougie-Boozy-Beef.
Tucked into a fertile valley, at the end of the tar road, that is where good wines are made; that is where adventure really begins. Windfall Wine owes it name to the way the clouds cascade down the surrounding mountains of Robertson – a proud nod to the home of this small boutique wine farm.
In 2015, Windfall launched a new wine with a special story, Kibali. This incredibly delicate and boldly complex wine is a perfect blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Mouvèdre and Grenache.
What makes this wine even more special, is that a portion of the wine sales goes directly to the Nos Vies en Partage Foundation, an independent charity who’s aim is to assist with social development issues in Africa, including the relief of poverty, promotion of education and primary health care among others with a particular focus on women and children.
I quickly skimmed the recipe to see how much of this precious wine is required by the boozy beef. I breathed a sigh of relief when it said only two cups. I quickly calculated that it would leave just enough for two to pair with the meal.
My mouth started to water spontaneously as I sat tucked under my blanket reading the list of ingredients. It was bordering on being delightfully sinful, with lashings of Kibali red wine, gorgeously meaty beef short rib, earthy mushrooms and handfuls of fragrant herbs, a few good glugs of NOMU concentrated beef-stock, a smoky bacon garnish and a bed of creamy mash. After a quick visit to the shops, I was ready to start work on this winter-chaser.
Cooking is my catharsis; it’s all in the systematic preparation of your work surface, the laying out of your ingredients and knives in neat rows, the methodical chopping and dicing of onion; the sounds and smells that elevate all your senses into highest gear. I need ample time to cook, to linger longer in the kitchen, without rushing, and this bougie-boozy-beef recipe allowed me generous hours to make my slow acquaintance with the stunning ingredients laid out across my counter.
Once the meat was stewing in the oven, swaddled in glugs of Kibali wine and cloves of garlic, I prepared the mash and the bacon garnish. I longingly eyed the half-empty bottle of Kibali on the side as I chopped the mushrooms, because cooking and a glass of wine goes hand-in-hand for me. I could smell the dark red fruits and hints of spice from the open bottle; a little teaser of what is to come. I desperately tried to convince myself that I can’t possibly have a glass of wine 10 o’clock on a Sunday morning. I reluctantly showed the necessary restraint. Just.
Plating and pairing
That evening, we sat down at a dim candlelit table, which felt almost hallow in its presentation. Two steaming plates of bougie-boozy-beef, two glasses of Windfall’s precious Kibali wine, soft music, twinkling lights and one excellent dining partner and I was in my happiest of places. The soft ambience and low lighting didn’t do my photographs many favours, but I’m sure you get the idea.
The dish came together beautifully; the creamy mash soaked up all the sauces, whilst the bacon garnish added a bit of unexpected texture, without overwhelming the fall-off-the-bone beef and red wine flavours.
The fruit-forwardness of the Grenache graciously enhanced the sweet, caramelised onions, whilst the herby, earthy tones of the Mourvèdre harmoniously paired with the mushrooms and bacon. Throw in a bit of full-bodied meatiness from the Shiraz and the alluring pepper and chocolate aromas from the Cabernet Sauvignon, and you have a stunning red wine that I could’ve sworn was especially blended for this meal.
Thank you, Windfall Wine and ManCrave for generously indulging me with this lovely experience. Recipe boxes will always be one of my favourite ways to interact with gorgeous produce and wine, and creating something from scratch leaves one with a certain sense of accomplishment and pride.
If you have an opportunity to get your hands on a bottle of Windfall‘s Kibali before winter draws to a close, indulge yourself in this little pleasure. It really is as special as I say it is.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.