STYLE

From the earthiness of short ribs and portobello mushrooms to soulful apple pie

10/28/2013 04:40 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
Here are some recipes from "The Flavour Principle" by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol, which examines a dozen flavours through recipes and drink pairings.

Argentinian Short Ribs

This is a superb, full-flavoured stew for entertaining. Argentinian short ribs are on the long bone, not divided into sections as other short rib cuts are.

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped garlic

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh oregano

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh thyme

5 ml (1 tsp) dry mustard

5 ml (1 tsp) hot paprika

5 ml (1 tsp) chopped jalapeno pepper, or to taste

125 ml (1/2 cup) red wine

30 ml (2 tbsp) red wine vinegar

60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil, divided

6 Argentinian short ribs on the long bone

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

250 ml (1 cup) chopped red onions

5 ml (1 tsp) diced jalapeno pepper

500 ml (2 cups) canned diced tomatoes

500 ml (2 cups) beef stock (homemade or store-bought)

15 ml (1 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce

1 strip (7.5 cm/3 inches) orange peel

In a bowl, combine garlic, oregano, thyme, mustard, paprika, chopped jalapeno, wine, vinegar and 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the olive oil. Arrange short ribs in a single layer in a large dish (or two). Pour marinade over ribs. Marinate, covered and refrigerated, for 12 hours.

Heat oven to 150 C (300 F).

Remove ribs from marinade, reserving marinade. Pat ribs dry and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat remaining 30 ml (2 tbsp) oil over high heat. Working in batches, brown meat well on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.

Spill out all but 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and diced jalapeno and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and reserved marinade. Bring to a boil, scraping up any bits on bottom of pot. Add short ribs and orange peel (or place all ingredients in a casserole dish).

Cover and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until ribs are fork-tender. Remove short ribs to a baking sheet.

Increase heat to 200 C (400 F).

Skim any fat from sauce. Place over medium heat and reduce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Roast short ribs for 15 minutes. Return to sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Pairing: Malbec

Once popular in Bordeaux and still the dominant grape in Cahors in southwest France, heat-loving malbec found more hospitable, sunny skies in Argentina's vast Mendoza region. Full-bodied and robust, it loves fatty beef. It also won't let a bit of spice shackle its gaucho spirit.

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Chestnut-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This is a wonderful dish for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, says Waverman. Serve it at holiday feasts to those who don't eat meat or anytime you want a vegetarian main course.

The chestnuts add a rich earthiness to this dish and make the mushrooms that much more meat-like. Look for the largest, juiciest-looking portobellos for this dish. If your mushrooms are smaller, you may have extra stuffing; stir in half a beaten egg and bake in a gratin dish alongside your mushrooms.

12 large portobello mushrooms

125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil, divided

Chestnut Stuffing

50 ml (1/4 cup) butter

250 ml (1 cup) chopped onions

250 ml (1 cup) chopped celery

5 ml (1 tsp) cracked fennel seeds

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped garlic

575 ml (2 1/3 cups) vacuum-packed peeled roasted chestnuts (about 400 g/14 oz), chopped

1 l (4 cups) fresh breadcrumbs

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

75 ml (1/3 cup) unsweetened apple juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Rich Red Wine Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 220 C (425 F).

Cut off mushroom stems flush with caps and chop. You should have about 375 ml (1 1/2 cups).

In a large skillet, heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the olive oil over high heat. Working in batches, add mushroom caps to pan and fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until just beginning to soften. Transfer gill side up to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mushroom caps, adding more oil to pan as needed. Set aside.

Melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery and fennel seeds and saute for 10 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Add garlic, chestnuts and chopped mushroom stems and saute for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are juicy. Remove from heat.

Stir breadcrumbs and parsley into stuffing mixture. Add enough apple juice to moisten stuffing well. Season well with salt and pepper. Divide stuffing into 6 portions and place on top of each of the mushroom caps on the baking sheet. Top with remaining 6 mushroom caps, gill side down, to make a kind of sandwich. Do not totally enclose the stuffing. Roast for 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and stuffing is crisp around the edges. Serve drizzled with Rich Red Wine Sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Pairing: White Burgundy

Try this inventively woodsy, earthy dish with a nutty, mineral-laden white Burgundy (such as Macon or, if budget permits, Puligny-Montrachet) and bask in the subtle decadence. Alternative: If you prefer red, uncork a Chianti.

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Rich Red Wine Sauce

Pomegranate juice gives a wonderful colour to this sauce as well as a subtle flavour. This is similar to a beurre blanc sauce but made with red wine.

125 ml (1/2 cup) red wine

125 ml (1/2 cup) pomegranate juice

10 ml (2 tsp) light soy sauce

2 ml (1/2 tsp) granulated sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a heavy pot, combine red wine, pomegranate juice, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter a few pieces at a time until fully incorporated and sauce is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 125 ml (1/2 cup).

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Umami Apple Pie

Waverman's apple pie is a departure from the norm.

"We mixed a whole different set of apples together which when you cook them they cook at different rates so you end up with an apple pie that has some soft juicy apples in it and also some tarter ones that are whole pieces of apple, so it's a whole different look at apple pie.

"And then we put cheese in the pastry just to make sure that everybody liked it and again the pairing that Beppi used with this, the Loire Valley chenin blanc, just added something to it."

Cheddar Pastry

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

2 ml (1/2 tsp) kosher salt

250 ml (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes

250 ml (1 cup) shredded white cheddar

90 to 120 ml (6 to 8 tbsp) cold water

Filling

2.5 l (10 cups) sliced cored peeled mixed apples (about 6 to 7 large apples such as Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh, Pink Lady)

30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

250 ml (1 cup) granulated sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground allspice

45 ml (3 tbsp) tapioca flour

30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Egg Wash

1 egg yolk beaten with 15 ml (1 tbsp) milk

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, butter and cheese. Pulse until butter is the size of small peas. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with cold water and toss with your fingertips or a rubber spatula, adding more water if needed until pastry holds its shape when squeezed between fingers. Gather pastry together and divide into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 220 C (425 F).

Roll out larger portion of pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit a 20-cm (8-inch) pie plate, leaving a 1-cm (1/2-inch) overhang. Chill until needed. Roll out second piece for the top. Chill.

In a large skillet, combine apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently, for 5 minutes or until apples just begin to soften. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to absorb more of the syrup.

Stir in tapioca flour and heap into pie shell, mounding apples in the middle. Dot with butter. Cover with top layer of pastry, seal edges and crimp. Brush with egg wash. Cut small steam vents in top of pastry. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 C (350 F) and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden, apples are tender and juice is bubbling. If pastry begins to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of parchment paper.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pairing: Coteaux du Layon

How about honey, apricot and lemon to go with your pie? The sweet wines of Coteaux du Layon in the Loire Valley, based on chenin blanc, add a splash of magic to baked apple desserts.

Source: "The Flavour Principle" by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol. Photography by Ryan Szulc. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd, 2013.

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