Thursday, January 14, 2016

Korean Pot Roast with Zinfandel

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

It’s finally gotten really cold outside.  It’s so cold that your tears seep from your eyes when you crack your front door, even before you walk outside into the bracing wind.  Your tears become frozen into icy daggers.  Your cold-cracked and bleeding fingers are tired of being shoved into gloves that just don’t keep your fragile digits quite warm enough for more than a few minutes at a time. 

By about noon, your stomach is already calling to you about what you could possibly eat to warm yourself deeply, from head to toe.  For this kind of cold weather there are the usual chicken potpies and uncertain bowls, brimming with oily slicks of steaming hot soup. 

What I require for frosty weather sustenance is a hearty glass of intensely flavored red wine to wash down an all day-cooked slab of beef, rendered low and slow to maximize the mineral and beefy intensity of the meat.

Sobon Estate "Hillside" Zinfandel is better wine than you should be drinking at a price that will not break the bank.  DrinkupNY stocks this marvelous slurp of black fruits, crushed gravel and brioche toast in every sumptuous sip of wine.  Zinfandel is bigger and meatier than your more feminine Pinot Noir and dare I say, those blush wines that are usually uncomplicated quaffs of sugary liquid.  Real Zinfandel like the Sobon Estate bears neither resemblance in color, nor the intensity of flavor to that the Madison Avenue marketers created with White Zinfandel wine. You know that stuff that hangs on in the realm of cheap, sugary and uncouth.

 Real Zinfandel wine is magnificent stuff, possessing deep Terroir and a sensation of riche.  Zinfandel is thick across the tongue and it coats the palate.  Zinfandel is your go/to for long cooked meats. 

Pot Roast, Korean Style. 
I’m a huge fan of Korean food. The people of this country seem to bring their passion for the very best in life-even to the simplest of foods like this pot roast.  There is quality and nostalgia in each life-giving sip of broth- this is not high volume canned stuff- but it is the culmination of many thousands of year of cooking techniques, many of which you cannot easily duplicate in the home kitchen, but this following method makes easy work of your hard to find time in the kitchen.

 ¼ cup peanut oil      
1 cup homemade beef stock
1/4 cup full strength soy sauce
1 cup raw sugar or raw honey
12 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon Chinese sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly crushed ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 chopped onion
1 teaspoon freshly crushed peppercorns
5 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch (essential to dissolve in stock)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 cup Zinfandel wine                                                                       
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat a dutch oven to just under smoking.  Add about ¼ cup of peanut oil. Add beef. Brown on all sides.  Add the sugar or raw honey, sautee.  Add the garlic, sautee some more.  Add the red pepper sauce, the peppercorns and the Zinfandel wine to deglaze.  Add the onion and the cornstarch.  Cover and slow cook for at least eight hours.

Sprinkle with both sesame oil and green onions right before serving with copious glasses of your Zinfandel wine.   Serve soy sauce at the table for additional salting if necessary. 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

About Warren Bobrow
Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog The Cocktail Whisperer and the author of nearly half a dozen books, including Apothecary Cocktails, Whiskey Cocktail and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails- his most recent book.

He's also written about cocktails for Saveur and Whole Foods/Dark Rye, Total Food Service, Eater, Serious Eats, Foodista, Distiller and Beverage Media among other outlets.  He’s taught the fine art of social media and food writing at the New School in New York and at the Institute for Culinary Education. Warren has also taught at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine.

Bobrow was a 2010 Ministry of Rum judge and was the only American food journalist asked to participate in Fête de la Gastronomie, a nationwide celebration of French cuisine in Burgundy.
Photo Credit: KoreanBapSang

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