Best Red Wine Recipes For Cooking
One of the wonderful things about red wine is that it isn’t just good in your glass – it’s also great to use in cooking!
Whether your preferred protein is fish, lamb, beef or kangaroo, we’ve assembled some of our favourite recipes for you to use next time you have a hunger in the belly and a little red wine by your side – leftover or otherwise – when you want to add an extra dimension to your next culinary masterpiece!
PAN-FRIED FILLET OF MURRAY COD WITH ROASTED SHALLOTS AND RED WINE
The flavoursome nature of cod is taken to another level by the red wine glaze of this delicious seafood dish, which uses a little Shiraz to give it its dazzle.
KANGAROO WITH RED WINE RISOTTO
Kangaroo makes a great option when you want to switch up your meat a little, and this kangaroo with red wine risotto dish is a keeper. Any good dry red wine will do the trick.
SLOW-ROASTED LAMB WITH PAPRIKA
A delicious, deeply flavoured dish with a gentle lick of heat that is an absolute winner not only in winter, but any time of year. A little Sherry makes all the difference to its flavour.
BURGUNDY STYLE FILLET OF BEEF
This classic rustic-style dish is one to add to your repertoire. The addition of red wine to the sauce really elevates the rich flavours of the fillet steak.
Another winter warmer that can be made any time you have a craving for the divine combination of juicy meaty and pastry, this venison pie dish is sure to delight.
LAMB RAGOUT WITH PAPPARDELLE
This deeply flavoured lamb ragout is pretty tough to beat when pasta is on the menu. A delicious slow-cooked dish with red wine for added richness.
BEEF WITH BRAISED OXTAIL AND POTATO PURÉE
Mouth-filling and heart-warming, this beef with braised oxtail dish is a densely flavoured meal that is truly enhanced by a good splash of red wine in the cooking process.
MORE TIPS FOR COOKING WITH RED WINE
Make cooking with red wine simple with the following basics!
THE THREE USES OF RED WINE IN COOKING
When cooking with wine, it helps to think of the three main roles it serves – as an ingredient in marinades, as a cooking liquid in the pan or pot, or as a wine pairing to an already cooked dish.
The wine should always enhance the existing flavours and aromas of your meal, rather than overpower them. As such, watch your quantities – too much used in the cooking process, particularly if not allowed to simmer for a while, could negatively impact your desired result. Ideally, you want to use the same or similar wine that you’ll be enjoying with the meal.
CHOOSING YOUR RED WINE FOR COOKING
The bitterness of tannins in red wine – particularly Cabernet Sauvignon – means that if you’re cooking with a big, tannic red, those same bitter flavours will be imparted to your food – not always ideal, depending on the dish.
As a general rule, dry red wines like Shiraz are perfect for tomato-based sauces or wine reductions. Bigger dishes like pot roast or slow cooked beef however almost demand bigger wines like full-bodied Shiraz or Cabernets, but if in doubt, stick with a low tannin wine like Merlot – it’s widely considered the most versatile red wine for cooking with.
If you’re looking for the best red wine to use in a spaghetti Bolognese, however, you can’t go past a good Italian varietal like Graciano or Sangiovese.
DON’T BREAK THE BANK, BUT AVOID ‘COOKING WINE’
You don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy using red wine in your cooking. There are plenty of great value wines out there in the mid-range price point worthy of your attention. Any decent red in the $15-$20 range for instance should be fine for both cooking, especially if it’s one you already know you enjoy in the glass.
As a rule, though, steer clear of cooking wine – the quality is too hit-and-miss in terms of flavour, and not worth the risk of undermining your dish.
RED WINE MARINADE FOR RED MEAT
Red wine and meat pair together like a dream, so here’s a simple method for a great little red wine marinade for a good cut of beef. We recommend a medium to full-bodied dry red like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Merlot, but Cabernet Merlot or Cabernet Shiraz blends are also ideal.
Add a cup of red wine, ¾ cup of olive oils, some minced garlic, a little diced onion, a couple of sprigs of rosemary, a good squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to season to a bowl. Mix well, and transfer to a zip-loc bag before placing your meat inside with the marinade, sealing and refrigerating overnight or for at least 4-6 hours, and turning occasionally.
The acidity in wine helps make it an ideal marinade, tenderising the meat and adding to its flavour.
DOES COOKING RED WINE REMOVE ITS ALCOHOL?
Yes, but not as much as you might think! A number of factors influence how much of the alcohol burns off in the cooking process, including the alcohol percentage in the wine used and the type of cooking. The longer you cook, the more alcohol is removed, meaning a 15 minute simmer will still retain about 40% of the alcohol content. A wine reduction sauce, however, cooked for 3 or more hours, will effectively eliminate most if not all of the wine’s alcohol.
LIFE + FOOD + WINE = MATCHES MADE IN HEAVEN
So there you have it – a collection of some of our best red wine recipes for cooking, and a few handy things to keep in mind when the urge to experiment in the kitchen hits.
Do you have a favourite dish that uses red wine? Share it with your fellow wine lovers on our Facebook or Instagram pages! If you’re looking for more great food and wine ideas, don’t forget to check out some other great Wine Selectors guides, like our Pairing Food and Wine, or our Aussie Food and Wine Pairing Guide.
In the meantime, shop our vast range of red wines to find your favourite, and enjoy your continuing food and wine journey with Wine Selectors!