What to pair with a Super Tuscan like Camartina? The answer doesn’t have to be steak! With creativity and imagination, we can reinvent a classic pairing experience with a plant-based dish.
Pairing a fine red wine, a Bordeaux or a Super Tuscan, with steak is a cliché that is traditionally hard to challenge. There is ample literature describing just how the intensely savoury flavour of beef demands depth and backbone, typical of those wines with more Cabernet in the blend. With a few tips in mind, we can create a plant-based pairing that works just as well to make both Camartina and the food.
Our King Trumpet Mushroom steak dish draws on fungi’s amazing ability to reinvent themselves into a wide array of dishes with a plethora of different textures and flavours. But, what ties in all the elements of this pairing is the tangy and savoury red-wine sauce. The bordelaise clearly has a French influence. So does Camartina, another reason why this plant-based pairing is an instant classic!
Pairing this plant-based recipe with Camartina
King trumpet mushrooms are earthy with plenty of umami flavours, which along with their meaty texture and ability to soak up any savour, are the fundamental pillars of this recipe. The miso-based bagna cauda accentuates the umami sensation, while its uplifting citrusy flavours and its garlicky component help to round out any bitterness from the greens making for a smoother interaction with the silky tannins found in the 2016 Camartina.
The wine’s bright acidity cuts through the texture of the potato purée, which we make with cashew cream and a knob of vegan butter, and the overall richness of the dish, but it’s the bordelaise sauce’s vinous, herbaceous and earthy flavours that finally seals the deal on the wine/food affinity.
We suggest decanting Camartina for about an hour before you plan to serve.
Glassware: Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru or Zalto Bordeaux.
Ideal serving temperature: 15–18° C (59–64° F)
King Trumpet Mushroom Steak with Potato Purée,
Broccolini Greens & Bordelaise · By Sunny Gandara
This recipe was inspired by the book On Vegetables by US Chef Jeremy Fox. While it’s not necessary to make your own mushroom stock for the bordelaise sauce, it does make a difference. The depth of flavour of homemade stock is unparalleled to store-bought and might very well be worth the extra time you’ll spend making it. You can use any bitter greens you have on hand, such as puntarella, dandelion greens, chicory, radicchio or broccoli rabe. If you decide to make the miso bagna cauda, you can prepare it a day or two in advance.
ROASTED KING TRUMPET MUSHROOM STEAK
700 g King Trumpet mushrooms
45 g unsalted vegan butter
3–4 sprigs fresh thyme, stem removed, leaves chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Slice each trumpet mushroom into 2 or 3 equal pieces lengthwise and season with salt. Set aside to let the salt seep into the mushrooms. Heat two tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook them for about 5–7 minutes on each side without moving them until golden brown.
Add the bordelaise sauce, recipe below, heat through and glaze the mushrooms with the sauce using a spoon until they are shiny. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the thyme and stir to coat well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
FOR THE MUSHROOM BORDELAISE
500 ml red wine (we suggest Querciabella’s Mongrana)
250 ml unfiltered apple juice
120 g shallots, sliced thin
2–3 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
Add shallots to a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat with a tablespoon or two of butter and sauté for a few minutes (be careful not to brown) before adding the bay leaves and red wine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes until the wine has been reduced by three-quarters.
Add the apple juice and return to a simmer. Reduce liquid by half, about 10-15 minutes more. Add the mushroom stock and return the liquid to simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes until you have about 250 ml of liquid.
Remove from heat and strain the reduction through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Season with salt to taste. Set aside while you continue cooking.
FOR THE BITTER GREENS
1 small bunch of broccolini or broccoli rabe
½ bunch dandelion greens
½ bunch rapini, cleaned and bottom stems cut
1 garlic clove
Olive oil for sautéing
2 tablespoons miso bagna cauda
Blanch the prepared and cleaned broccolini and bitter greens in plenty of salted boiling water for about 1 minute, then transfer the vegetables to a bowl filled with ice water to stop cooking. The green should be vibrant. Using tongs, carefully drain them and place them onto a sheet tray lined with paper towels to remove excess water.
Place a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, drizzle in some olive oil with a clove of garlic and add the broccoli rabe with a clove of garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3–4 minutes until al dente and set aside. Right before serving, toss the greens with the miso bagna cauda and salt to taste.
MISE EN PLACE
To serve, spoon the potato purée onto each plate, place a few of the greens on top of the purée and then stagger the mushrooms. Pour the bordelaise over the mushrooms and garnish with additional dressed greens and broccolini.
OPTIONAL: MISO BAGNA CAUDA (MAKES ABOUT 600 ML)
2 lemons, peeled, seeded and diced
500 ml extra-virgin olive oil
150 g red miso paste
100 g garlic, peeled, germ removed and finely chopped
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
Kosher salt to taste
Traditional bagna cauda contains anchovies, which is a very umami-rich food. By replacing them with miso, we don’t have to worry about the tannins in the wine clashing with the fish, but we can enjoy a complimentary texture and an even deeper flavour.
Fill the bottom of a pot with a bit of water for a double boiler to fit on top. Place the prepared lemons in a metal bowl that fits snugly over the pot with the water, and add the olive oil, miso paste, garlic and chilli flakes. Stir well to combine, cover the bowl and place over the pot of gently simmering water. Simmer for about 45 minutes, remove from heat and let the sauce come to room temperature. Season with a pinch of salt and transfer to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve at room temperature.
The blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese and a careful wood-ageing regime gift Camartina with excellent food matching qualities that intensify over time. Choosing more mature vintages for this pairing will enhance the textural interplay between the wine and the dish’s plant-based savouriness.