Red Wine Winter Warmers – cooking with red wine
What do you do when the chilly weather starts to set in? Why, you break open a bottle of your best red wine, of course. Pour yourself a glass, then use the rest for one of these fantastic winter warming red wine recipes.
Coq au Vin (Chicken in wine)
The legendary French Coq au Vin has earned its place at the table. You’ll toss browned chicken into a Dutch oven with some garlic, onions, mushrooms and pre-blanched bacon, top it off with a bottle of red wine and the same amount of chicken stock. Add seasoning, two bay leaves, and leave to cook while you snuggle on the couch. Cook as low and slow as you dare – the longer the flavours mingle, the better the dish will be.
Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Bourguignon)
Boeuf Bourguignon is another hearty dish for a rainy day, and it doesn’t take ages, either. Bonus? You can now repurpose leftover steak or fillet into a scrumptious meal. Brown some mushrooms and onion, add your browned meat and toss in half a bottle of wine and the same amount of beef stock. Bring to the boil, simmer for five minutes. Serve with crusty, steaming bread and a glass of the same red.
Red Wine Syrup
Red wine syrup is so easy to make – and so easy to eat. Grab a bottle of your favourite red, reduce it to half, then add a cup of sugar and cook some more until its thick and sticky. Drizzle your sauce over cheese, add to cocktails or spread over a steak. For extra flavour in your sauce, add some vanilla and peppercorns during cooking, or a good dash of chopped red chillies.
Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Wine can be substituted in any chocolate cake recipe for a similar liquid – milk, buttermilk, and so on. The alcohol will cook off, but the flavour will remain, so pair it with a cocoa-rich cake to tone down the sharp, ‘winey’ taste. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of vanilla-whipped mascarpone (and a glass of great red, of course).
If you’d rather drink your wine than eat it, but want something a little more warming than your usual glass of red, whip up a batch of Glühwein. Tip the bottle into a pot with cloves, oranges, apples, sugar, cinnamon, a dash of brandy and a bay leaf or two, leave to simmer for a while with the lid on, then sip away in front of a cozy fire.
Cooking with wine is a great way to repurpose that half a bottle that got left in the fridge too long. Otherwise, try to opt for younger wines when cooking, as their flavours are stronger. You can poach almost anything in wine, so don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t forget to have a glass while you cook. Cheers!