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Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing Suggestions & Delicious Recipe Ideas

Cabernet Sauvignon is a favorite on the dinner table. Perhaps this is because when people are searching for wine that pairs well with a main course - this varietal is often the ideal choice.

At meal time, many folks will find themselves in a Cabernet State of Mind.

Most red meats as well as many hearty/savory dishes pair perfectly with a bottle of Cab. It is easy to see why it is such a favorite on the table. High-tannin red wines pair well with foods high in protein.

Big red wines like Cabernet come with a tannic structure as well as red and dark fruit flavors and a backbone of acidity. These all compliment meat based dishes well.

Cabernet tannins will absolutely cry out for more fat in the dish. The fats will help to cleanse the palate of the excess of tannins on the tongue. It is a food friendly and quite flexible wine varietal with ranges from more of the classic new world to the more restrained and elegant Bordeaux style Cabernets.

Following are some fantastic recipe ideas to pair with Cabernet Sauvignon on your own dinner table.

BEST Food & Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Pairing Dinner Recipes

Skirt Steak w/ Roasted Corn and Peach Salsa

(Serves 4)


2 medium peaches                    2 ears sweet corn
2 tomatoes                           1 jalapeño
1/2 medium red onion          2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1.     Cut onion into rings and cut jalapeño in half.  Roast corn, onion and jalapeño on grill until blistered.
2.     Blanch and shock tomatoes and remove skin.  Seed tomatoes and jalapeño.
3.     In large bowl, cut corn from cob. Dice tomatoes, peaches, red onion and jalapeño and add to bowl.
4.     Add lime juice to bowl and mix.  Season with salt and pepper.


Skirt Steak: 

2 lbs. skirt steak                        1 tbsp. ground cumin 
1 tbsp. dried oregano               1/2 tbsp. ground cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Combine cumin oregano, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.  
Season steak with salt and pepper.  Rub spice mixture onto steak. 
Grill steak to medium rare (125 degrees); about 4 minutes per side.
Slice steak across grain and serve with salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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Beef Chili Recipe

 courtesy of Joan Stagnaro, Girl Friday - Private Chef

2 cups dried heirloom beans (preferably Rancho Gordo & a mix of several shapes and sizes for fun and texture)

Marinated beef: Chile:
2 lbs hangar or flank steak 2 large yellow onions, chopped
3 bay leaves 5 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce 5 ribs celery, chopped
2 T sugar     2 large cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar     4-5 cups beef broth
3 T crushed red pepper flakes 1 can of beer
3 T chili powder 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo
10 cloves garlic minced Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil  
2 T peppercorns  

The night before: Rinse beans and soak overnight. Place the beef and marinade ingredients together in a glass bowl and make sure the beef is well coated. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

3-4 hours before serving: sautée onions, carrots, and celery in a large heavy pot over medium heat until caramelized. Add beef, tomatoes (with juice) and 1/2 the broth. Cover and simmer for several hours over low heat, until the meat is tender and falling apart. As the beef cooks, add the can of beer and more broth as necessary.

While beef is cooking, drain beans and cook in plenty of fresh water with 2 T salt, 2 T ground pepper and 6-10 whole garlic cloves for one hour. Drain.

When beef is tender, add beans, and carefully add chopped chipotle peppers with their sauce. NOTE: add the peppers a little at a time and taste as you go. They are very hot.

Cook for another 30 minutes or so over medium heat to blend all the flavors. Serve with your favorite chili toppers.

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Coffee Cocoa Crusted Venison

(Serves 6)

1/3 cup fine-ground coffee
1/4 cup cocoa
2-1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Venison loin
In a medium mixing bowl, combine coffee, cocoa, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.  Rub mixture into loin.
Cover and hold for 1-2 hours.
Grill venison loin over medium-high heat, rotating on all sides until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
Remove to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Slice into 1-inch pieces on a platter and spoon on the blackberry sauce.

Blackberry Sauce:
2-cups blackberries
1/2 jalapeno, diced very small
1/2-cup balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Pinch cracked black pepper
Place blackberries, jalapeno, pepper and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer and reduce until thickened.  Season to taste, with salt.

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Red-Wine Braised Chicken with Herb and Ricotta Gnocchi

(Serves 4 to 6)

8 bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups high-quality chicken stock
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced rosemary

1 (15-oz container) whole milk ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet large enough to hold all of the chicken in a single layer over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and chicken skin-side down. Cook until the chicken is browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown the other side for about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate using tongs.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet and return the skillet to the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Add the stock, thyme and rosemary and bring to a boil. Return all of the chicken to the skillet skin-side up. Reduce the heat to low and cook on a simmer until the chicken is nearly tender, about 40 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, make the gnocchi.

Combine the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, chives, parsley, sage, salt and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring to combine after each addition. Stop adding flour after the dough starts to become dry.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop a small spoonful of the dough into the water. If the dough falls apart, add more flour to the dough mixture and repeat. When the dough reaches the right consistency, drop by small spoonfuls into the water a few at a time. When they rise to the surface, transfer to a plate.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to bubble on the edges, add the gnocchi and carefully turn to coat evenly. Cook until the gnocchi are warmed through.

Divide the gnocchi and chicken between four shallow bowls. Spoon some of the pan sauce around the bowl and sprinkle with extra cheese.