This is a fabulous bottle of wine - full of pure blackberry flavour and with the added benefit of fizz. It is certainly alcoholic - I have a numb face and am finding it hard to concentrate. The bush tea in front of me is helping.
We drank the wine to a beef, black bean and ale casserole assembled by Claire this morning. I spent the day on my feet in the kitchen making wine, washing up and cooking. Sitting down was a welcome relief. And now I can barely keep my eyes open. Happy Sunday.
Now - I have been asked to provide recipes when mentioning food (hello Jaye). This is a little difficult most the time, because Claire is the one who does the exciting, delicious cooking whereas my own efforts are often little more than functional. However, an approximate recipe for the casserole above is as follows (serves four - or in our case two twice):
Three slices of braising steak
A medium or large onion
400g tin or box of cooked black beans
500 ml of beer
A dollop of a sharp jelly - Claire used redcurrant, but crab apple or similar should do
A clove of garlic (I think)
A bay leaf (probably)
Salt and pepper to taste
If you want, stick in some quartered mushrooms or slices of leek, though I don't think Claire did.
Chop the steak into medium sized cubes (an inch or so dimension) and fry over a high heat for not very long at all, so that the sides are sealed and browned
Slice the onion and fry it with crushed garlic - using the juices from the meat and possibly a little oil.
Put it all in a casserole dish with the beans
Pour over the ale
If you need more liquid to just cover the ingredients, put in some water.
If you are using vegetables/mushrooms bung them in too
Add the salt and pepper (err on the side of caution - and add more later if you need to)
Add the bay leaf
Put in an oven at gas mark 3 and cook for a couple of hours
Inspect and taste - it may be too bitter. If so, add enough jelly until it tastes right.
Put it in the oven again - you are unlikely to over cook it.