Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lamb Flank Steak, Sardinian Fregola and Mint Pesto With 2006 Palmina Nebbiolo Honea Vineyard

Bargain product alert!

Paulina Meat Market is selling rolled-up and skewered lamb flank steak for $13.

Want lamb but don't want to blow a Jackson? Want lamb and don't want mess around with bones and roasting? Wanna simply take some lamb, throw a marinade on it, toss it in the fridge for a bit, and then sear it off and go to town?

Buy Paulina lamb flank steak.

Maybe serve it with this Saveur recipe that's been printed out and put in the "maybe" file for seemingly years.

Maybe drink a bottle of wine that's been in the "someday" file for seemingly years.

It's food and wine housecleaning and the result was something wildly beyond the goodness Mrs. Ney expected.

Lamb flank steak skewers marinated in leftover balsamic-rosemary-onion marmalade (from Pintxos), seared medium-rare. Sardinian fregola followed to the recipe letter. Zucchini salad with Fresno chilies, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Mint pesto (more hazelnut heavy) to slather on lamb and mix with the zucchini salad. Flavors galore! And good flavors, mixing well - not just flavors. Delicious lamb, nutty pesto, and a fregola salad I could devour an entire bowl of and love every second. Stupid currants. They're delicious.

And the 2006 Palmina Nebbiolo Honea Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley ($70-ish - Winery) made it a complete meal. Dark sour cherry, blackberries and balsamic-ed up strawberries (?). Tar. Hint of wilted flowers. Some sort of root related to sassafras but not sassafras. A little weight here but never heavy. Lifting finish. Went through a tar phase about an hour in that came off oddly light and distinctive, like someone was mucking about with zinfandel and found a strangely light, low-alcohol zinfandel place. But this was all nebbiolo in many ways, with a lilting bounce that threatens to devolve into something larger but never does. No decant. Just left open for an hour or so. Perfect place. And plenty of life left with this one.

We futzed over what to serve this wine with, thinking some Italian fall stew might be its bestie. In the end, we found a winner with this meal by saying, "Let's just drink the damn thing! It can't be bad with this." And it wasn't in the least. Quite happy with it, as it emphasized the glaze on the lamb and currants in the fregola rather joyously. The wine found a balance and played with the food like a person that very much wanted to have a good time. Can't ask for more than that.

Big, fat, happy meal here.

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