Monday, May 21, 2012

Grilled New York Strip Steak Garlic Foam and Garlic Sauteed Beets Paired with 2008 RdV Vineyards Virginia Rendezvous

This pairing is a celebration of grilling season.  Well, to be quite honest, I tend to grill all year long, but at the moment, we are quickly approaching Memorial Day in the U.S. which marks the unofficial beginning of summer and a traditional grilling weekend.  I tend to side with the Aussies, who I have learned through some good Aussie friends, take their grilling very seriously.  It is not just a cliche.  As the stories have unfolded over a couple of drinks milling about the grill, Aussies approach grilling with the same dedication as rugby - it is a full contact sport.

One evening in Abu Dhabi, I was at the home of my good Aussie friend Steve as he was preparing kangaroo loin on the grill.  Don’t ask how he was able to get kangaroo in the U.A.E., that is another story.  As Steve was carefully grilling the kangaroo, I asked about the barbecue culture in Australia and heard the stories that support the commonly held belief that Aussies love to barbecue.  One story that supported the “full contact” version of Aussie grilling is the favored pass time of standing around the hosts grill and critiquing his work.  It sounded much like the trash talking that commonly occurs on playing field.

As you honor our U.S. grilling tradition this weekend, here is a tasty, garlicky approach to making your steak something special.  I would only add that maybe some potato salad would be a nice addition.
First we will start with the steak and my full proof method for perfectly medium rare steak with nice surface texture.  Start with a trip to a good butcher and have your steaks cut between 1 and 1/2 inches thick.  Avoid freezing - fresh is always more flavorful.

Before grilling, leave the steaks at room temperature for one hour.  If you are using a gas grill, bring it up to full temperature.  High heat is important to getting a good seer.  Set your timer for two minutes and put the steaks on the grill.  If you are using charcoal, place the steaks just off center of the heat.  When the timer chimes, take a sip of wine, and make your way back to the grill...don’t be in a rush.  Rotate the meat 90 degrees, take another sip of wine and start the timer.  Repeat the process flipping the meat on the next turn, and a final 90 rotation to get the hallmark grill lines.  In total, the grill time should be about 10 minutes.  To test for medium rare, pinch your thumb and forefinger together and feel the pad on your palm just below the thumb, this is what a medium rare steak should feel like.

This pairing featured the much anticipated RdV Vineyards 2008 Virginia Rendezvous.  I had not previously tasted the Rendezvous, but it came highly recommended not only from friends, but from neighboring wineries.  We were not disappointed.  The wine is exceptionally well balanced - a complete wine with a strong French influence.  Rendezvous is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot.  The nose is slightly soft but foretells the wonderful subtlety of the wine.  With a firm foundation of earthy flavors and well rounded tannins, the wine presents pleasing flavors of dark berries, black cherries, coffee and a hint of leather.  A further hint of oak brought this wine back to its roots as a fine Bordeaux style blend.  This full rich wine was begging for a bite of the steak.

The pairing was heavenly.  With perfectly matched body, the flavors of the wine were free to play joyfully with the perfectly grilled steak and mild garlic presented in the garlic foam and garlic sautéed beets.  Other reviews of this wine have noted the strength of the tannins.  When paired with the rich steak, this was not a problem for our dinner party as the tannins brought a healthy structure that worked well in combination.  However, if you plan to simply sip and enjoy this wonderful wine, I would recommend decanting for an hour or so to let it open up.  For our purposes, we decanted, but only for about 30 minutes - more than sufficient for our meal.


Garlic Foam

  • 5 cloves roasted garlic halved
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  1. Simmer in sauce pan for 15 minutes.
  2. Strain, allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pour into ISI foamer and discharge. If you don’t have a culinary foamer, add a tablespoon of Lecithin to the simmer and when cooled, create the foam with an immersion blender.
The beats were prepared in sauté pan with garlic and butter.  Peel and slice the beats, heat the butter and minced garlic, and sauté until tender.

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