Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dressing for Dinner

Last Monday Safeway were giving away Ribs so I decided to have some for dinner, OK they weren't actually giving them away but $1.99 a pound for fresh sideribs is pretty close. I know many people consider sideribs the "poor cousins" of the rib family but I find the flavour deeper in these fatty monsters than in back ribs and the price is always better. I generally prepare ribs more in the summer because the char off the grill adds to the enjoyment but oven roasted are just fine as well.

I also enjoy the "set and forget" quality of ribs, I just rub them with salt, pepper, paprika and dry mustard powder and leave them for an hour to reach room temperature. I then place the ribs on baking sheets in a 275 degree oven and pretty much ignore them, once every 45 minutes to an hour I'll turn them over and pour off any fat that that's about it. After about 2 1/2 hours the ribs are ready, I will then baste them with something sweet and hot sauce wise and run them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes then serve with rice, a green vegetable and either cold pilsner or an inexpensive fruity red - Argentinean Malbec is good, Carmenere or new world style Spanish are fine as well, just don't break the bank.

On the way home from school daughter had asked what was for dinner, when informed that we were having ribs she burst into song - literally. As dinner prep near conclusion I called out to wife and daughter that dinner was five minutes away, this gives them time to finish up whatever they are doing and arrive at the table. I heard daughter dash to her room and close the door.

"Strange I thought, I wonder what that's about ?"

When I enquired she replied "I'm changing for dinner" resulting in more puzzlement on my behalf.

Two minutes later she emerged "changed for dinner", old T shirt, sweat pants and hair pulled back in a ponytail with the explanation that:

"Hey if I'm eatin' ribs it's gonna get messy".

My kind of kid no doubt.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Lovely Carmenere, Undrinkable Petite Sirah

Ran the gamut the last couple of days, The Grands left some wine with us including a Petite Sirah from De Bortoli.

Granddad had brought this, along with some decent bottles, for Christmas season tippling but I avoided it like the plague. I cannot ever recall drinking a wine from De Bortoli, in Australia, that I enjoyed but we popped the cork on the Petite Sirah the other day as a 2nd bottle.

Sadly my fears were confirmed, it was awful - in fact undrinkable. All pruny overccoked fruit with no acid and a ton of alcohol. To paraphrase Monty Python: this is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding, even at the low price of $11.99 this wine has nothing to recommend it.

On the other hand our New Years Day bottle was a delicious Reserva Carmenere from Viu Manent in Chile. This wine is still young, 2008, but has a lovely ribbon of rich fruit with a solid acidity to balance it. We enjoyed it with home made pizza but it would be a great partner to grilled meats or roast poultry. The wine is listed at $17.99, CSPC#596536, and has limited distribution - I recommend seeking it out.