Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chimichurri-ed Hanger Steak and Arancini with 2004 Twisted Oak Tempranillo Calaveras County

Vacation soon, so it's "empty out that freezer!" time.


* Recently purchased Whole Foods hanger steak (cumin, coffee, pepper rub)

* Not recently made pumpkin-Rogue Smokey Blue-rosemary arancini, leftover from a huge batch made in March for flap meat and arancini with 2004 Two Hands Beautiful Stranger (best wine of the year)

* Chimichurri from who knows when, slathered on the meat, with...

* Leftover freezer bacon and parsley added

Served with a wine given blind that, given a thousand years, I never would have guessed was California tempranillo. Well, not a thousand, that's a long time. And I'd be dead.

Delicious, juicy, medium-rare hanger with a great cumin-coffee hit, mixing and mingling beautifully with the chimichurri and bacon. Arancini that lost its pumpkinness but gained a "look at me!" rosemary number, which was surprising and so gosh-darn good. Star of the meal. Arugula salad to finish, cuz meat and fried food needs a lil somethin'-somethin' to move things along.

Meat and starch in a happier, better form. Good stuff.

A 2004 Twisted Oak Tempranillo Calaveras County ($15 - Lush), bought at Lush because it was $15 and California tempranillo and $15 and 2004. And $15. Little lost if it sucked. It got lost in the wine storage shuffle. I didn't even remember it was in the house. Mrs. Ney knew what it was, socked it up, and gave it to me blind. Round and ripe. Formerly full-bodied, now wandering into a happy "middle-aged man who still routinely whips my ass in tennis" medium number.  Fading but not faded in the least. Huge, alive, black fruit hit. Blackberry and blueberry. Purple Sweet Tart number, indicating to me that this HAD to be Australian shiraz. Just had to be. Guessed 2004 Pirramimma. Nope. Calaveras County tempranillo (with 12% cabernet added). We love Twisted Oak, mainly because they love Spanish grapes. May I suggest The Spaniard with Romanian skirt steak and scallion sauce? Or with lamb osso buco in anchovy-garlic sauce, charred green beans and fried haloumi? Those were GOOD meals.  

The Twisted Oak found its perfect self with the arancini, turning all complete and layered and deep. Less so with the hanger, as a touch of oak separated itself from the pack and went rogue, but still decent stuff.

Big surprise here. Mrs. Ney had few expectations for this meal. Turned out pretty great.

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