The holidays may be over, but 2012 is a time for celebration: cattle prices are at an all-time high, the weather has been cooperative, and U.S. beef exports are breaking records. While domestic prices for beef continue to skyrocket in the grocery store and Americans are eating less beef today than in years past, there are still ways to savor the flavor of beef with a good glass of wine, all while staying on budget.
“A good glass of red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot would be my personal recommendation to pair with a beef roast; however, people always choose which wines they enjoy the most with any meal they eat. For those who are on a budget, I would say premium roasts such as ribeye, rib and tenderloin are very popular during the holiday season, but consumers can select more economical roast choices such as tri-tip, round tip, and top sirloin, which are also delicious options," says Holly Sweet, South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) director of nutrition and consumer information.
According to Karen MacNeil, world-renowned wine expert and author of The Wine Bible, “The marriage of beef and wine used to be as easy as steak and something rich and red. While that idea remains a favorite classic, today’s menus offer a brave new world of possibilities — and today’s beef might mean anything from Thai steak salad to fajitas or Tuscan braised short ribs. At no other time in history have the possibilities of pairing beef and wine been so thrilling, so delicious, so limitless.”
So how can consumers make sense of all the options?
"The truth is, there are no rigid rules. Extraordinary flavor affinities do exist, but great matches are born from instinct, imagination and a lot of fun experimentation. Moments of beef and wine are like sensory fireworks. One thing is certain -- beef and wine share more than just flavor affinities. They’re both about experience. More than most foods and most beverages, beef and wine are sensual and deeply rooted in pleasure and satisfaction. That adds up to a simple, powerful strategy for building profits: sell more beef, sell more wine," writes MacNeil.
To me, there's nothing better than a dinner of beef and wine, unless, of course, it's followed with chocolate. Here's a great recipe worth trying the next time you are entertaining. It promises to wow your guests.
Red-Wine Herb Marinated Beef Steak (courtesy of the Beef Checkoff)
The stars of the show are two, beef bottom round (western griller) steaks, cut 1 in. thick (12 to 16 oz. each)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
To prepare the dish, simply:
- Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steaks and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.
- Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Place steaks in skillet; cook 16-22 mins. for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning occasionally. (Do not overcook.) Carve steaks into thin slices.
What's your favorite beef and wine pairing or recipe? Is there merit to promoting these two products together? If so, how can we team up for the benefit of both?