Monday, February 13, 2012

What wine pairs well with a grilled rib-eye? Well not this one.

For those of us who live in the southwest, and more specially the desert region, this is the perfect time of year to grill.  The weather is in the high 60's and 70's, and the grill just begs to be used.  While most of the country is holed up in their houses using the oven all winter long, us Arizonans head outdoors and fire up the grill.  Now don't get too jealous, come May through September, we head indoors and want nothing to do with being outside, that is unless we want to suffer from heat stroke while trying to grill a steak.

Last Friday, I made a yummy steak dinner.  Now the steaks did not come out like I wanted, the meat itself was not of excellent quality however, everything else was really good.  Well, everything but the wine too, but we will get to that later.

If you have not had the pleasure of eating parsnip puree, than I highly suggest you head out the store buy a bunch and whip yourself up this delicious treat.  This puree could easily serve as a bed for any protein including fish, it is just that tasty.  I like to use at least one Yukon gold potato, mainly because the starch in the potato serves as the glue to keep the parsnips together.  Without the potato the puree can be running, not a texture you want.  It is a great substitute, and a healthy substitute for the same old mashed potato routine.  As you will see in the recipe, hardly any fat was added, and I have made it in the past without the small amount of butter and it tasted just fine, but the butter does add a great creamy component to the dish.  I recommend the butter.

The herb rub on the steaks was my own making, and all the herbs came from my garden.  I use fresh, but if you dry your own herbs, feel free to use dried herbs.  You could also add a bit of oregano as well, as that is a terrific herb to marry with a great Cabernet Sauvignon.

Now about the wine.  The one we drank (pictured to the left) was not really a Cab, more like a cheap but mildly tasty Merlot.  The tannins were a no show, something we despertly needed with our rib-eye steaks.  This was a in and out wine, some berry and plums character going on, but no finish and no complexity.  Really this wine would be great as a party wine, something you know you could drink without thinking about it, and it would please just about any palate.  Or this would be a cocktail wine, again something you would serve to drink before the meal, or after you get home from work, and just want a glass of wine to chill out with.  However, with all that being said, I cannot recommend this wine if you are a Cab lover.  To me it was a massive dissapointment, especially with the meal.  But that's what you get when you go to BevMo! during the 5 cent sale and don't do you homework first.  So look for a real Cab, one with nice juicy tannins that grip your tongue and don't let go.  Click here for a great recommendation or search my blog under Cabernet Sauvignon,

Here are the recipes.  Get your grill on and enjoy.

Parsnip and Potato Puree
serves 4-6
1 large Yukon gold potato or 2 small
4 parsnips
2 gloves garlic
16 oz chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
a small pat of light butter (I use Land o' lakes)

1.  Peel, and cut the potato and parsnips into 2 inch pieces, set aside.  In a large saucepan, add the chicken broth, add the potato and parsnip, fill the rest of pan with water until everything is covered.
2.  Bring pan to med-high heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until all are soft or about 30 minutes.  Reserve about 1 cup of the liquid.  Add the hot potato and parsnip to a food processor, with the salt, pepper, garlic, and butter.  Pulse 10 times, then slowly add the water until you get the consistency you desire.  Serve as a bed to the steak, and enjoy!

Herb rubbed grilled steaks
serves 4
herb rub
4 fat leaves of basil minced
1 steam of rosemary minced
1 TBS parsley minced
3 gloves garlic minced
smoked salt and pepper to taste
1 TBS quality oil

1. Combine all ingredient in a bowl and set aside to rub on the steaks

For the steaks
4 rib-eyes or any other quality fat steak
herb rub

1.  Pre-heat grill on high for at least 5 minutes.  Rub both sides of the steak with equal amounts of the herb rub.  Set aside.
2.  Place the steak on the grill, and close the cover.  Grill on one side for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness.  Open grill and flip the steaks.  Close cover and grill for another 5 minutes.  If you desire the cross hatch grill marks, flip steaks an addition time on each side on high heat for about one minute.
3.  Take steaks off the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into.  Place steak on a bed of parsnip puree, sprinkle a few mushrooms on top and enjoy!

Oven roasted broccoli
Wine glazed mushrooms

Thank you and enjoy.


  1. Thanks for the warning on the wine ~~ I'll avoid that one. But did you really pay 5cents for it?

  2. Well yes and no. It is a very good marketing ploy they have going on. You will pay the highest possible retail for the first wine, and the second is yes only 5 cents. However, the wines that are on sale are marked up quite a bit. However, you can find some great deals if you are willing to do your homework. Check out the website for wines you are interested in and then check out reviews and prices on other sites. I have gotten good deals, but like I said I did my homework first. Thanks for the comment Eileen.