It’s nice when you have people in your life that know about all sorts of different things. I mean, as much as I may claim differently, I really don’t know everything. Whaaaaat? No one is more shocked by that statement than I am I assure you!
So when I received the official 103rd Grey Cup wines from Pond View Estate Winery, I called on my friends LaVerne and Jim to teach me all they knew about wine since I knew basically nothing and they like to drink.
Wine. They like to drink wine.
We spent a lovely evening together and they explained the basics of wine drinking using entry-level terms that I would understand like breathing, sloshing, and sniffy sniff. Not that I understood half of what they were saying but I learned enough so that I wouldn’t sound like a complete moron as I wrote this.
Goal Line White
Goal Line White is a refreshing, easy drinking Riesling that isn’t dry and has no noticeable tannins. Immediately we could detect the subtle tones of pears and green apples with a nice balance between freshness and sweetness. We paired this wine with baguette slices that we dipped into a lovely Spanish olive oil that LaVerne picked up on a recent trip to Spain and Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar from Prairie Oil & Vinegar. This wine would be perfect for an evening in front of the fireplace reading a book or when sharing a Margherita pizza on the deck with friends.
This was my preferred wine of the two. It appears that I am a white wine drinker. Who knew?
End Zone Red
End Zone Red is heavier with characteristics of a Merlot and Cabernet blanc. It has a slight barnyard smell at the onset with black cherry, raspberry, and chocolate undertones and the flavors get more intense the longer it breathes. This wine’s tannins give it a dry finish and light heat at the end. We paired the End Zone Red wine with a smooth dark chocolate truffle. This wine would be perfect with a juicy steak or grilled cheeseburger sliders at your Grey Cup tailgate party, or a rich chocolate cheesecake.
Both official wines are only available in Manitoba Liquor stores until the Grey Cup so make sure you get yours well in advance so you won’t be disappointed when there’s none on the shelves.
You should never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink, so including the End Zone Red in my Sunday pot roast was a no brainer. It adds a little something extra special.
Sunday Pot Roast With Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (*Gluten-Free)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Yield: 6 - 8 servings
You can eat the carrots or other vegetables that are cooked with the roast, but by the time the roast is done, all of the vegetables have cooked out any of their nutritional value, so I prefer to add fresh carrots and mushrooms at the end.
For The Pot Roast
2 - 2-1/2 lb cross rib beef pot roast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 large carrots, divided
3 celery stalks
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic, whole
1 cup red wine (I used End Zone Red from Pond View Estate Winery)
1 can (10 oz) beef consomme or beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
6 button mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons corn starch
For The Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
6 large russett potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk or half and half
For The Sunday Pot Roast
Preheat the oven to 275 F.
Rub the cross rib pot roast on all sides with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Set it aside.
Peel and quarter the onion. Cut 3 of the carrots and all of the celery into 1" to 2" pieces. Peel 3 cloves of garlic but leave them whole.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat until it is hot. Add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook for a few minutes, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are lightly caramelized. Add the whole garlic cloves and cook for an additional minute. Transfer the vegetables to an oven safe roaster or dish with a lid.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and let the oil heat up until it is hot. Add the roast beef to the pan and let it sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not move it around in the pan while it is searing. Transfer the beef roast to the oven safe dish on top of the vegetables.
De-glaze the frying pan by adding 1 cup of red wine to the pan. Stir it around for 45 seconds to one minute, gently scraping the bottom to release all of the brown bits. Pour all of the liquid and bits from the frying pan over the beef roast.
To the roasting pan add the beef consomme or broth, tomato paste, thyme, parsley, bay leaves and remaining salt and pepper. Add enough water to the roasting pan to bring the liquid halfway up the side of the roast. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours or until the roast falls apart when pulled with a fork.
While the roast is cooking, slice the 2 remaining large carrots and boil them in a pan of water until they are fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Add the butter and mushrooms to a small frying pan and cook them over medium heat until they are lightly browned. Remove from the heat and add them to the carrots.
Take the roaster out of the oven, remove the meat and set it aside on a plate. Strain the liquid from the roaster through a fine mesh strainer into a pot. Use two forks to break the meat apart into chunks and add the pieces to the pot with the liquid. Add the cooked carrots and mushrooms. Turn the heat on the pot up to medium-high. Bring the liquid to a slow boil.
In a small dish combine the water with the corn starch to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pot and cook for several minutes until the liquid is thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve over creamy garlic mashed potatoes.
For The Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Peel and cut the potatoes into 1" to 2" pieces. Add the potatoes to a pot and cover the potatoes with water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes, add the salt, pepper, parsley, pressed garlic, cream cheese, butter, and milk, and use a potato masher or electric mixer to mash the potatoes until smooth.
Are you feeling a little more plump this week? A little more like Santa around the middle? A little more like a lake than a river? Me too.
Did you sneak a couple extra cookies while no one was looking? Did you have an extra scoop of mashed potatoes? Or, Heaven help me, gravy? Me too.
How about chocolate? Or stuffing? Or wine? Me too. Me too. Me too!
So, to even out the playing field before the next round commences on December 31st, I thought I’d share a fuss free, vitamin packed, simple side dish. Then there will be less guilt when you have an extra glass of champagne and calorie packed appetizers on New Year’s Eve. Less guilt for you, and me too.
The vegetables listed are what I had on hand, but feel free to use whichever vegetables are your favorites. Bacon fat adds some additional flavor to the vegetables but butter or olive oil is a great alternative.
1-1/2 tablespoons bacon fat or butter, melted (Use olive oil for a Vegetarian or Vegan option.)
2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions, peeled and quartered
3 - 4 small parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 large carrots, diagonally sliced into 3" pieces
20 brussel sprouts, trimmed and loose leaves removed
4 - 5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 small beets, peeled and halved
12 - 14 mini potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Spread the bacon fat, butter, or olive oil over the entire surface of a large baking sheet. Line the baking sheet with the vegetables cut side down. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dried thyme.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring once. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley.