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September 30, 2020

Giant 2017 Durif and Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks

Wine Tasting notes: 

Colour: Deep red-purple

Nose: Quite savory with notes of blackberry and spice.

Palate: round and voluptuous with some well seasoned tannins that lead toward a beautiful flavour of chocolate coated liquorice. The palate ends with lovely earthy characters and bitter-sweet flavours like 90% dark chocolate. The good acidity makes you want more.

This “Giant” calls for some hearty winter food: As we are in the final days of cooler weather before Summer, beef cheeks or lamb shanks will be your perfect match!

Our Durif 2017 can be drunk now, but it can also easily cellar for another 10 years. 

How I paired the wine with the food..

The softness and powerful saucy meat balances the wine without being overpowering.

The toastiness and crunch of the polenta match perfectly the well integrated toasted tannins from the barrels into the wine.

The soft spicy sauce balances the richness of the meat and the wine. 

The gelatinous meat makes the wine look so unctuous that’ll make it a “pièce de résistance” combination on your table tonight!

Giant Durif with FREE Bonus Bottle Deal, Click Here

Our food and wine match of the month:

Slow cooked Beef cheeks with fried Polenta and steamed Broccolini

Serves 4/5 people

Ingredients for the beef cheeks

  • 2kg beef cheeks, halved
  • ⅓  cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh bay leaves. Dried bay leaves can be used but it won’t be as fragrant.
  • 750ml bottle red wine. I used our lovely “A” label Shiraz 2016
  • 250ml water
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp dried juniper berries, crushed
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of Broccolini and chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

Ingredients for the fried polenta

  • 150g (1cup) polenta
  • ½ brown onion, diced finely 
  • 60ml (¼ cup) white wine. I used our aromatic “Wild Rose” Vermentino 2019
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 100g parmesan, grated
  • 500ml milk
  • 500ml water
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Making the Polenta:

Bring the milk, water and thyme to the boil in a saucepan. Take it off of the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes to infuse. Strain into a jug or a clean saucepan and put it aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion until golden. Deglaze with the wine and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the reserved liquid to the saucepan. Bring it to the boil and gradually stir in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes or until thickened. 

Remove from the heat, add the parmesan and 1 tsp salt. Pour into a slice pan 28cm x 18cm x 3cm lined with baking paper. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours until set.

Remove from the fridge and cut into serving size: cut into about 12 rectangles.

Add oil to a large frying pan. Under high heat add the polenta pieces and fry until golden on each side. Be careful it will splash a little bit. Serve straight away.

Making the Beef cheeks:

In a bowl, place ⅓ cup of plain flour and toss very well each piece of beef.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large cast iron casserole over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until well browned. Remove from the pan, add salt and pepper and set aside.

Add onion and garlic to pan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Add bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add flour and cook for 30 seconds. While stirring, add vinegar and red wine. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes to let the alcohol evaporate. Return beef cheeks to the casserole, pour the tomato tin and add water to cover, then bring to the boil. Salt and pepper lightly. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 3-4 hours or until beef is tender. 

Steam or boil the broccolini

Serve beef cheeks with the fried polenta and steamed broccolini, topped with freshly chopped parsley. 

Rated 94 Points and the second best 2017 Durif in all of Australia by Huon Hooke at The Real Review.
Limited Time Deal: With only a handful of cases remaining of the 2017 vintage grab the special deal below while stocks last.
Buy Five Bottles of The Giant 2017 Durif and get one BONUS bottle of the yet to be released Giant 2018 Durif at no cost (Gold Medal - Small Vigneron Awards).


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