Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cook with wine - Noiret Pork Roast with Northern Lights Ratatouille

“I love to cook with wine, sometimes I add it to the food.” This quote is often attributed to WC Fields. But I really think I thought of it myself before I ever heard it. Anyway, it is so true. I love to cook with wine. I love to sip wine while I cook. I love to add wine to my dishes. The other thing I love is all the fresh vegetables that are available this time of year. Oh, and one more thing I love – Flying Otter Winery Noiret. I often tell people when we offer tastings of Noiret that I wish they could taste it with food. It makes such a great red table wine. Here is something I did recently to feature all of these – cooking with wine, Noiret, and fresh vegetables.

Noiret Marinated Pork Roast
4 lb pork shoulder roast
1 bottle Flying Otter Winery Noiret
fresh herbs from the garden – I used rosemary, tyme, and French tarragon

Place the pork roast, herbs, and a whole bottle of wine in marinading container. I like to use a container that came with our vacuum sealer.

Allow the roast to marinade in the refrigerator over night.
Place the whole thing including the marinade into a brazing pan.
Cook covered for ~4 hours @ 275-300. Check it occasionaly to make sure you don’t run out of liquid and the pork reaches the desired tenderness.
Allow to rest, serve with vegetables (see recipe below) and a glass of Noiret

Like I said earlier, I love all the fresh vegetables available in the summer. But if you are anything like we are the refrigerator starts to fill up faster than you can eat them. Here is something I like to make that can use whatever vegetables are filling your frig. I call it Ratatouille, though I doubt that it qualifies as the real French provincial dish.

Start by chopping up whatever vegetables you have in the frig that you are wanting to use up. The basics include onions, peppers, garlic, summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. The recommended French method is to cook each vegetable individually to the desired doneness and then add them together at the end so thay are all cooked to the proper level. This method uses way too many bowls and pans, and takes too much extra effort.  A more common alternative is to add the individual vegetables to a stove top pot in order based on cooking time, waiting 5-10 minutes between each addition. Again, for me this requires too much time and effort. The method I like to use is the one pot brazing method. It is true that some of the more tender vegetables that require less cooking time will disappear and just become part of the sauce. But what a wonderful, flavorful sauce it is!

Northern Lights Ratatouille
8 cups chopped vegetables
2-3 Tbl flour
2 cups Flying Otter Winery Northern Lights wine
fresh herbs
salt and pepper

Add the vegetables to a brazing pan
Add flour, stir to coat vegetables
Pour in wine
Add salt and pepper to taste
Cook covered ~ 1.5-2 hours at 300 degrees, stirring occasionally to reach desired tenderness level and make sure you don’t run out of liquid.
Remove from oven.
Add fresh chopped herbs (basil and taragon are my favorites)
Add sugar or Splenda to taste (I like to add just a touch of Splenda to balance the acid in the wine. It just takes a little bit. I don’t want the dish to taste sweet.)
Adjust salt and pepper to taste
This is even better after the flavors meld overnight in the refrigerator. Just reheat and serve.

Bob Utter
aka The Flying Otter Curmudgeon

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Podcast #9 - A New Season Begins

It has been quite a while since we blogged - shame on us. We have been busy and here is an update on what's happening in the vineyard and winery. The following podcast was recorded early April, 2014 following the coldest, snowiest winter in decades. We are anxious to open the pavilion tasting deck and resume our Friday Night Live Music in the Pavilion events. This recording includes music and a conversation with one of our most popular entertainers, Cat Canyon.

We hope you enjoy listening.

Podcast #9 A New Season Begins

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Podcast #8 Our First Year in Review

It is hard to believe that we have been open for almost a year. We will celebrate our first year anniversary the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In the this podcast Bob and Linda take a look back at the first year and discuss our upcoming anniversary celebration.

Podcast #8 - Our First Year in Review

Monday, June 18, 2012

Podcast #7 Ahhhh Spring - planting and wine fests!

Now that June is here, Bob talks about how the vineyard survived the warmest March in decades, spring planting in the vineyard, and other news. Jeff and Linda talk about attending spring wine fests and wine judging competition results. Yay. We won medals!

Podcast #7 Ahhhh Spring - planting and wine fests!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Podcast #6 Unseasonably Warm - Bah Humbug

Podcast #6 Unseasonably Warm - Bah Humbug

Bob and Linda discuss the record setting high temperatures and the impact on the vineyard. They also discuss the latest winery news.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Podcast #5 Interview with Michael Wells from Arbor Vineyard

Bob and Nick talk to Michael Wells, owner of Arbor Vineyard. We discuss how he got started in wine making and his plans to open a winery near Tecumseh, MI.

Podcast #5 Michael Wells Interview

Monday, March 26, 2012

Podcast #4 It's the nose!

Bob and Jeff discuss the wines initially available at our opening, as well as new releases that will be available soon. There is an interesting discussion of aroma versus bouquet or as Jeff's says, "It's the nose".

It's the nose!