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.
There are things in life that we can’t change, no matter how much we try or wish they were different. But, there are things that we can change.
You can’t change which family you are born into. But, when faced with poisonous relationships, you can choose to let them continue to hurt you, or you can move on and become a better person without them. The person you were born to be.
You can’t change the past, but you can change your present and your future. You can’t go back and unsay things you’ve said, or undo things that you’ve done, but you can learn from them and you can use what you’ve learned to make a better path for your future.
You can’t always know if the footprint you’ve left behind is one that will be followed. Were you good enough, strong enough, giving enough, loving enough? Did you make everyone that you came in contact with in this life feel like a person, a welcomed face, a fellow man? Maybe not, but it is something to be more aware of, something to strive for, something that you can change.
Yes, there are things you can’t change, but there are things that you can change. And there’s something comforting in that.
A delicious meal to serve on a cold winter's day. Hearty beef stew can be frozen in freezer safe containers for future dinners. Thaw before reheating.
2 lbs stewing beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 button mushrooms, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock (Use home-made or a gluten free brand for a gluten free diet option.)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt / to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper / to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
24 mini potatoes, halved (or 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed)
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons corn starch
Heat a frying pan on medium high heat until it is really hot. Add the olive oil and butter. Add some of the stewing beef pieces, without overcrowding the pan, and resist the urge to move the pieces around because you want the meat to caramelize (take on a nice, dark brown color) before turning. Fry on at least two sides, but the pieces do not need to be cooked all the way through. Repeat until all the pieces are browned. Add the meat to a large pot.
De-glaze the frying pan by adding 1 - 2 cups of beef stock to the pan and use a rubber spatula to gently scrape off any of the beef bits and juices from the bottom of the frying pan. Add this liquid to the large pot.
To the pot, add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, mushrooms, celery, carrots, the remainder of beef stock, bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, and sugar. Add enough water so that the vegetables and meat are almost covered. Cover the pot and bring the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and frozen peas. Increase the heat and bring the stew back up to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat back to low and simmer for an additional hour.
In a small dish, mix together 1/3 cup cold water and cornstarch to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pot and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Discard the bay leaf before serving.