Life All Travel Destinations Entertaining Food All Chefs Recipes Restaurants Wine Matching Wine All Wine 101 Wine News Wine Regions Wine Varietals Home > Selector Magazine > Food > Beef cheeks in baharat spice with roasted brussels sprouts and soft polenta Food Beef cheeks in baharat spice with roasted brussels sprouts and soft polenta Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 6+ hours Serves 4 - 6 INGREDIENTS 1.3kg approx. (4) beef cheeks 2 tbsp baharat spice mix Salt and freshly ground black pepper ¹/³ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil ½ (125ml) cup dry sherry 2 cups (500ml) good red wine 2 large onions, roughly chopped 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 2 cups (500ml) beef stock 3 bay leaves 6 sprigs thyme Salt flakes and black pepper, to taste 2 bunches Dutch carrots, steamed, to serve Micro herbs Roasted brussels sprouts 750g brussels sprouts, trimmed 2 tbsp caramelised balsamic or vincotto 2 tbsp (40g) butter Polenta 1½ cups (375ml) chicken stock or water 1½ cups (375ml) water 1½ cups (255g) instant polenta 1 cup (250ml) milk 1 tbsp butter METHOD Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Pat beef cheeks dry with paper towel and rub with spice mix. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add half the olive oil and brown the cheeks on each side. Remove beef cheeks to an oven-proof casserole dish. Deglaze the frying pan with sherry and red wine then reduce by half and add to the casserole. Wipe out the frying pan and add remaining olive oil. Add onions and celery to soften. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Deglaze with beef stock. Add to the casserole with bay leaves and thyme, cover, place in the oven. Turn the beef cheeks frequently. Check after 2 hours. They may take up 6 hours to be tender. Uncover for final hour of cooking, still turning a few times. Cook sprouts in salted simmering water for 4–5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cut in halves, reserving any loose leaves. Place on a baking tray with leaves, drizzle with balsamic, butter, salt and pepper and place in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. (Sprouts can also be cooked in hot oven for 10 minutes). For the polenta: Combine the stock and water in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil, gradually stir in the polenta. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta is tender. Stir in the milk and season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through butter. Set aside and whisk occasionally. To serve: place polenta on plate, top with beef and drizzle over sauce. Garnish with micro herbs, serve with sprouts, carrots. Food Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 6+ hours Serves 4 - 6 SHARE Perfect Match Lisa McGuigan Barossa Shiraz 2015 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Catlin The Harvester Shiraz 2016 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Angas & Bremer Shiraz 2015 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Ferngrove Malbec 2017 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Zilzie Regional Collection Barossa Shiraz 2016 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart The Scarlet Letter Sparkling Shiraz NV $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Batch X Shiraz 2016 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart A Growers Touch Shiraz 2017 $17.00 in any 12 $18.00 in any 6 $20.00 each Price | options $17.00 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Jip Jip Rocks Sparkling Shiraz NV $16.95 in any 12 $17.95 in any 6 $19.95 each Price | options $16.95 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart The Anchorage Cabernet Merlot 2017 $17.85 in any 12 $18.90 in any 6 $21.00 each Price | options $17.85 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Rockbare Shiraz 2016 $18.70 in any 12 $19.80 in any 6 $22.00 each Price | options $18.70 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Blue Pyrenees Estate Shiraz 2014 $18.70 in any 12 $19.80 in any 6 $22.00 each Price | options $18.70 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $18.70 in any 12 $19.80 in any 6 $22.00 each Price | options $18.70 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Robert Oatley Signature Series McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 $19.55 in any 12 $20.70 in any 6 $23.00 each Price | options $19.55 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Ironcloud Pepperilly Cabernet Shiraz 2017 $20.40 in any 12 $21.60 in any 6 $24.00 each Price | options $20.40 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Exclusive Penny's Hill Malpas & Main Shiraz 2017 $21.25 in any 12 $22.50 in any 6 $25.00 each Price | options $21.25 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Exclusive Primo Estate Shiraz 2017 $21.25 in any 12 $22.50 in any 6 $25.00 each Price | options $21.25 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Monterra McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 $21.25 in any 12 $22.50 in any 6 $25.00 each Price | options $21.25 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Salena Estate Ink Series Touriga 2016 $21.25 in any 12 $22.50 in any 6 $25.00 each Price | options $21.25 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Colab and Bloom Barossa Shiraz 2016 $21.25 in any 12 $22.50 in any 6 $25.00 each Price | options $21.25 in any 12 bottles Qty Add to cart Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014 1 case has been added to your cart. Cart total: xxx 1 case, 12 bottles, 3 accessories Checkout Continue Shopping You might also like Food 6 Wines to bring luck and prosperity in the Year of the Rooster The Lunar New Year is the most significant event on the Asian calendar. While it’s most famously celebrated in China, festivities also take place across East and South East Asians countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. With so many different Asian communities at home here in Australia, Lunar New Year celebrations are getting bigger every year. While each community has its own unique take on the event, common to all is the gathering of friends and family for a traditional feast. At Wine Selectors, we are constantly searching for the perfect union and harmony between wine and food dishes. We’ve selected 6 wines that are the perfect match to Lunar New Year celebrations this year that celebrate the fusion of food, wine, and culture. LISA MCGUIGAN PINOT GRIS 2015 In China, traditional reunion dinners or ‘Nian Ye Fan’ are celebrated by families on New Year's Eve. They focus around ‘dishes with a meaning’, symbolic usherings for the year ahead, such as luck, prosperity, and good health. In Mandarin, the word for Fish 鱼 (Yú /yoo), sounds like ‘surplus’ and so fish has become synonymous with prosperity and should be intentionally left unfinished during the reunion dinner to enhance this sense of excess and abundance. The Lisa McGuigan Pinot Gris 2015 is the perfect accompaniment to fish dishes due to the tropical fruit flavours and bright acidity, which perfectly complement fresh fish. Matched Recipe: Sauteed Fish with Celery. JACKSON’S HILL YARRA VALLEY CHARDONNAY 2016 In the Year of the Rooster, gold and yellow are thought to be lucky colours and also they tie in perfectly with a fine Hunter Valley Chardonnay. The creamy mouthfeel and mid-weight concentration of this wine are a great match for spicy dishes. The savoury, nutty stonefruit flavours in this wine offer fantastic support to dishes with the characteristic sweetness of palm sugar. Matched Recipe: Stir-fried Chicken with Beans WILLOW BRIDGE ESTATE DRAGONFLY CHENIN BLANC 2015 In Chinese culture, the dragonfly is associated with prosperity and peace and it’s used as a good luck charm. While we can’t promise you that enjoying the Dragonfly Chenin Blanc from Willow Bridge Estate will bring you good luck, we can promise it’s a delicious match with tofu stir-fry. Its bright and zesty citrus elements complement the understated, creamy flavours in the tofu, while the wheat notes form the udon and the light heat from the chilli are subtly balanced the wine’s weight and texture. Matched Recipe: Tofu, chilli & Udon noodle stir-fry RED WINES FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR It’s not just white wines that make great partners to traditional Asian flavours. At Wine Selectors, we’ve found that the light bodied, dark cherry fruits of Pinot Noir work perfectly with delicate dumpling or noodle dishes. The soft velvety plum flavours of a fine Hunter Valley Shiraz match with the sweetness and warmth of many traditional Chinese dishes. While the ripe, soft fruit and tannins of a fine Grenache match perfectly with the refined spice of an East Asian Curry. NINTH ISLAND PINOT NOIR 2015 This classic Pinot Noir from the north of Tasmania with its soft savoury flavours and a low tannin profile is the perfect accompaniment to traditional Luna New Year ‘lucky dumplings’( 饺子 Jiǎozi) or a sweet pork belly dish. This 2015 vintage is a particularly good choice as the number 5 is a lucky number in the year of the Rooster. Matched Recipe: Caramelised Pork Belly Salad YALUMBA OLD BUSH VINE GRENACHE 2014 The complex mix of flavours, texture, and spice in an East Asian curry require a wine that matches its flavour weight, but has a soft mouthfeel and subtle texture. This Old World style Grenache is the perfect fit; it has a soft red cherry intensity delivered with a silky, soft and elegant mouthfeel. Delicious! Matched Recipe: Malaysian White Curry Chicken ANDREW THOMAS SYNERGY SHIRAZ 2014 Synergy and harmony are vital during New Year Celebrations, perfectly embodied in this spectacular Shiraz combining select barrels from old vine vineyards. Earthy and rich, yet soft and savoury characters make this Hunter Valley classic from one of the best Hunter vintages in living memory a great match for the weight and depth of flavours in a refined curry dish. The nutty, complex mix of spice and coconut milk in a curry are lifted beautifully by the medium weight dark berry fruit, allspice and cedary elements of this wine. Matched Recipe: Massaman Curry with Beef DISCOVER A DELICIOUS FUSION OF FOOD, WINE AND CULTURE THIS LUNAR NEW YEAR To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, Wine Selectors has partnered with Asian Inspirations to hand select six Australian wines that perfectly enhance the authentic Asian flavours of the spectacular recipes in the included recipe booklet. From chicken to pork, fish and beef, and noodles to chilli, curry and soy, the rich flavours of Asian cuisine are on show, providing a plethora of delicious dishes to enjoy. Discover the delicious fusion of food, wine and culture - order now! Wine Simply Savvy Words by Mark Hughes on 19 Dec 2016 It is fair to say that Sauvignon Blanc is the most recognisable wine ever, but Australian producers are doing their best to create a host of appealing new identities. We find out who is doing what to make drinkers swipe right. I’ll come right out and say it. I quite like Sauvignon Blanc. That statement will probably earn me the ire of a few wine critics that I know, but I reckon it is a sassy and wondrous wine, and deserving of far more than the limited adulation we give it. I’d be as bold as to say it has been unfairly heaped with harsh criticism. There are a few reasons as to why Sauvignon Blanc is the kid the rest of the class picks on. Firstly, Sauvignon Blanc is seen as a pretty simple wine – it really is a case of WYSIWYG – What You ‘Smell’ Is What You Get and Sauv Blanc has an unmistakable tropical aroma. No matter where it is grown, it will always smell like Sauv Blanc, and this leads to the second reason why it is ridiculed. Because it is so recognisable, it is the first wine that drinkers new to the game can accurately identify. And for the well-heeled wine critic, that is just so ho-hum. Thirdly, it is popular, and we all know Australians hate anything that is popular. It is so well-liked for the two reasons given above. It is appealing for the novice wine drinker, particularly young women, as its simple tropical and punchy profile is not too dissimilar to the flavour of juices and fruit punches we enjoy drinking as teenagers. And it is popular because the novice wine drinker can identify it. Not only does that give them a sense of assurance that the wine experience they are about to have is going to be an enjoyable one, but it also gives them a sense of pride about their burgeoning wine knowledge. And finally, it is because New Zealand has had phenomenal success with the varietal and Aussies just can’t put that Trans Tasman rivalry to bed. It is a wonder we are still playing rugby given the dominance the All Blacks have had over us this millennium, and for the foreseeable future. ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW Having said all of that, Australian winemakers are a hardy bunch (even more so than the Wallaby scrum) and they have been busy creating a unique identity for Aussie Sauv Blanc that will have a point of difference from Kiwi SB and be just as popular, or even more popular. “I think Australian Sauvignon Blanc tends to be leaner than NZ wines, lower in alcohol with less residual sugar,” says McWilliam’s winemaker Adrian Sparks, whose High Altitude Sauvignon Blanc from the Orange wine region topped our State of Play tasting. “It is a crisper, more refreshing style of wine. This is what we try to achieve, but you want the wine to say where it is from. “I would hate to see wines from Margaret River , Adelaide Hills and Orange all looking the same. Regional differences are important.” Dan Berrigan, winemaker at Berrigan Wines and avid Sauv Blanc lover agrees. “As an Aussie winemaker, I try to understand what makes the NZ Sauv Blanc so popular, and emulate those characters in my wine,” he explains. “I then weave in the regional Mt Benson personality, which is usually in the form of more fruit weight on the palate, and I feel that it’s this combination that drinkers really appreciate, and are drawn to as a point of difference.” BETTER WITH AGE Shane Harris, chief winemaker at Wines by Geoff Hardy in the Adelaide Hills makes another good point – we have only been growing and making Sauvignon Blanc for the last decade or two. After a slow start, we are growing better fruit and getting better at making good wine out of it. “When the Sauv Blanc train came to town, lots of the industry was fixated on turning the volume up to 11 on the varietal character, but somewhere along the line, the focus on site was lost and replaced with maximising varietal character with picking times and yeast selection based on volume of varietal character more than reflection of site,” says Shane. “More and more Australian winemakers are learning how to get the best out of the fruit sources they have available to them. Sauv Blanc has a great ability to show the site it comes from if you let it.” “I love Australian wine due to the vast differences in climate and styles. We are so fortunate in that fact and more so than any other country,” adds Adrian. “The altitude of Orange is the key, with its warm days and cool nights allowing the grapes to ripen slowly, retaining wonderful acidity and not tending to have full blown tropical fruit, rather a lovely combination of citrus, herbs and exotic notes.” TINKERING THE TECHNIQUE So what are some of the techniques winemakers are using and what result does it have on the wine? Overall, the answer seems to be to bring Sauv Blanc some complexity. “Winemaking begins in the vineyard,” says Dan. “With the Berrigan Sauvignon Blanc this means managing the canopy to achieve fruit with a balance of tropical and grassy flavours. “In the winery, you then need to extend the skin contact time of the must to ensure that those flavours you’ve worked hard for in the vineyard are extracted from the skins and into the juice. From there, it’s all about minimising the extraction of phenolics, while maximising flavour retention and balance in your wine without oak maturation, lees stirring or fining.” “Oak with the right fruit works very well,” says Adrian conversely. “Lees contact providing texture and depth and some wild fermentation all are providing layers of complexity.” “Sauv Blanc responds to as little to as much winemaking as you wish to give it. Whether that response is appropriate depends on the site and the intended style,” explains Shane. “This doesn’t mean that just because you can do something that you should! A level of restraint is required to bring the subtle characters from your little patch of earth. “For our site I find that some skin contact time, leaving the juice slightly cloudy, and yeast selection are the most important areas of my input. Some post primary fermentation lees contact also helps, but this varies vintage to vintage. “The ability to change and adapt to vintage variation and change your approach is required to get the best out of the variety. Following what you did last year isn’t good enough if you want to get the best out of it this year.” THE FUTURE While critics predict the popularity of Sauvignon Blanc cannot last, our winemakers seem to believe it will be here for quite some time to come. “The wine style is just so strong in its personality, and with the majority of Australians living in warm, sunny coastal regions, the freshness of Sauvignon Blanc will always have its place amongst our lifestyles,” says Dan. It will always be popular as it’s such an easy drink and suited to Australia’s summer climate,” agrees Adrian. “I hope as an industry we can move with the ebb and flow of consumer preferences and make moves to deliver a style that is relevant and current,” says Shane. “We have to learn to not flog the horse too hard and kill the market and burn the variety, we need to be more sensitive to changes in consumer preferences and move with it, not fight against it. “Keep it fresh, keep it relevant.” Top 20 Sauvignon Blanc 2016 McWilliam’s Wines High Altitude Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Orange) Scotchmans Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Geelong) Henschke & Co Coralinga Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Adelaide Hills) Berrigan Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Mount Benson) Taylors Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Adelaide Hills) Blue Pyrenees Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Pyrenees) Redgate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Oak Matured) 2014 (Margaret River) Silkwood Wines The Walcott Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Pemberton) Tamar Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Tamar Valley) Dominique Portet Fontaine Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Yarra Valley) Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Margaret River) Alkoomi Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Frankland River) Dandelion Vineyards Wishing Clock Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Adelaide Hills) Wangolina Station Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Mount Benson) Geoff Hardy Wines K1 Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Adelaide Hills) Cherubino Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Pemberton) Eden Road Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Canberra District) d’Arenberg The Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Adelaide Hills) Lambrook Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Adelaide Hills) Nannup Ridge Firetower Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Blackwood River) Food Gourmet Destinations: Vietnam Words by Jackie Macdonald on 22 Jul 2018 Chef Jerry Mai’s start in hospitality was less than auspicious. She was fired from her first job washing dishes because she broke too many bowls. The thing was, though, being just six, she could only get them into the sink by throwing them. Thankfully, given it was her parents’ restaurant, they let her stay on as chief napkin folder, at which she excelled. This was the 1980s and Jerry’s parents had arrived in Brisbane with their young family from Vietnam via a Thai refugee camp. Like many an immigrant before them, they opened a restaurant serving the food of their homeland. But given Australians had only just got used to the offerings of their local Chinese take-away, Vietnamese restaurateurs played it safe. As Jerry describes, “A lot of the Vietnamese restaurants were just doing stir-fries, you know, ‘here’s 20 sauces and five meats, what would you like with it?’ and the garnish was always broccoli, carrots and capsicum.” Today’s take It’s a very different scene today, Jerry explains, “Fast forward 20, 30 years and nearly everybody has been to Vietnam for a holiday and Australians are eating more Vietnamese food – banh mi, pho, rice paper rolls.” That’s the sort of street fare you’ll find at Jerry’s two Pho Nom eateries in Melbourne. But, she says, just because you have pho every other weekend and banh mi on your lunch break, doesn’t mean you know Vietnamese food. “That’s like saying French food is just escargot and butter”, Jerry explains, “It’s just scraping the surface.” The full repertoire of Vietnamese flavours takes in the influences of its history and surrounds, Jerry relates. “There was a thousand years of Chinese rule, from which comes all the heady spices, beautiful braises and masterstocks. Then the French were there for a hundred years, so you’ve got the baguettes, pate, butter, terrines. And from Thailand, Laos and Cambodia come the headier chillies and lemongrass.” It’s all these influences that Jerry has taken to create the menu for her Melbourne restaurant, Annam. With its funky fitout on Little Collins Street, Annam has a massive open kitchen at its heart, where, Jerry says, “You can come up and chat to us.” You can also watch the team cooking with fire, another aspect of Vietnamese cooking that gets overlooked, she explains. “If you’ve travelled to Vietnam, there’s not a lot of gas cooking, the streets are full of barbeques, little stoves where they grill chicken or pork and have it with some rice or pickles.” So when you have the lemongrass chicken that’s featured here at Annam, they hang it over ironbark in the fire so it becomes, Jerry says, “Nice and smoky.” Jerry talks recipes Grilled lemongrass chicken This is a take on chicken lemongrass, which is normally a little stir-fry, and the paste we use to marinate the chicken is my mum’s recipe that she uses over summer to grill chicken on one of her three different barbeques! Grilled pork belly, lychee, chilli jam This has a bit of Thai influence with the chilli jam. The marinated pork belly is put over the grill to crisp up the skin and render out the fat. So it’s just this really rich and salty piece of pork through a really smoky jam dressing with refreshing herbs and cucumber, and sweetness from the lychees. Young coconut sorbet I had a trip to Vietnam with my parents about five years ago and my mum wanted to find this stall selling coconuts that people kept telling her about. We found it and the woman just scraped out the flesh of a young coconut, put some corn in it – in Vietnam, corn is a sweet rather than savoury ingredient – and added coconut ice-cream with heaps of crushed peanuts. I found the way it uses every part of the coconut brilliant and I thought, “I just need to have a venue to serve it in.” And now I do!