Ribs, Shiraz, and a Mystery
Once again we’ll detour from showcasing individuals in the ebook – Vino Expressions – People, Wine, and Loving Work – to match food, wine, and – yes – a book.
The Recipe –
The recipe is for Korean Short Ribs [taken from the book Perfect Pairings – A Master Sommelier’s Advice for Partnering Wine with Food, by Evan and Joyce Goldstein; University of California Press, Berkeley, 2006. Page 201]. The following is based on the recipe from that book.
1. Using a sharp knife, score three pounds of meaty English short ribs (each about 3 inches long) every half-inch. Keep the meat on the bones.
2. Mix 1/4 cup of toasted sesame oil with a 1/4 cup of sugar. Rub this all over the ribs and into the cuts. Place into a non-aluminum container and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
3. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of soy sauce, two minced green onions, four minced cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of sesame seeds (toasted and ground first), two tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Now rub this all over the ribs and cuts and let the ribs stand for one hour at room temperature.
4. Either broil or grill the ribs for 20 minutes. Turn about four times as they cook.
The Wine –
Evan Goldstein recommends pairing this food with a Syrah wine (or what the Australians call a Shiraz). Why? Because the wine goes well with grilled foods and barbecue, as well as with herbs and pungent flavors. The grilled sweet and sour ribs described above, strong with a scent of sesame and ginger, sound like a good match.
I chose a 2007 Chris Ringland Ebenezer Shiraz from Australia. I don’t know much about Shiraz, but this tasted smooth and chocolaty and went down a delight with these ribs.
The Book –
After dinner, what book to settle down with?
Let’s try a fictional work. Like this wine and food, it opens with a scene that is dark, layered with subtle intrigue, and has you wanting more. Try Sepulchre by Kate Mosse.
The book begins with a Prelude set in March, 1891:
“This story begins in the city of bones. In the alleyways of the dead. In the silent boulevards and promenades and impasses of the cimetière de Montmarte in Paris, a place inhabited by tombs and stone angels and the loitering ghosts of those forgotten before they are even cold in their graves.
“This story begins with the watchers at the gates, with the poor and the desperate of Paris, who have come to profit from another’s loss. The gawping beggars and sharp-eyed chiffonniers, the wreath makers and peddlers of ex-voto trinkets, the girls twisting paper flowers, the carriages waiting with black hoods and smeared glass.”
[2009. Berkely Publishing Group, New York. Page 3.]
That’s it. The food is simple to prepare, the wine will make you merry (but try to hold back and drink it with the food, rather than quaffing it down while you’re preparing the ribs), and the book oscillates between scenes from today and from more than a century ago – with a bit of romance, murder, a mysterious set of Tarot cards, and a haunted estate in rural France. Rich and spicy.