Beef Wellington

I am writing this while listening to my little sister’s new radio show (such a rock star!) so may be a little distracted.

Yesterday we had the in-laws for lunch. On request from Mr F we had beef wellington – actually this has been the standard response to the “what shall we have for dinner?” question for the last 5 years and I have managed to avoid it until now. Irritatingly I was overcome by some irrational need to prove that I AM a good wife and I CAN work with pastry (I’m not, and I can’t) – no pressure then.

As well as not working well with pastry the second problem is my oven. I really think the only acceptable thing to have alongside beef wellington is dauphinoise potatoes but when you have an oven the size of mine it is tricky juggling the the two. After I lot of discussion I figured out how to work round the problem (cooked the potatoes first and then kept warm with foil over the top while the beef cooked), and thank God as nothing else would have done quite such a good job…  Continue reading…

The French, The Spanish and the Not-So-Great Pig

Having just gone public with my blog (when I say public I mean having actually coughed up my blog address to people that actually know me) I’m feeling a modicum of pressure today. Not least because I have no doubt that any factual or grammatical errors will be repeated back to me within minutes. This is also going to be my first entirely wine-based post – yes it really has taken me 5 posts to finally get to the point…

Albariño really is a fantastic wine and we are slowly starting to see more of it available in the UK. It comes from the Rias Baixas region in Galicia and is immensely popular both locally and in the rest of Spain. As with so many other wines this goes brilliantly with the local cuisine which is seafood and shellfish. The one I’ve tried today is Sainsbury’s Albariño from their Taste the Difference range – although I bought it in Sainsbury’s Local for £8.49 it is available from bigger Sainsbury’s at £7.99 (more fool me). Pale lemon in colour this wine has an unbelievably fresh nose of lemon-sherbert, peach and stone fruits. It is medium bodied, retains the stone fruit flavour on the palate but with a much more apply character. It is given structure by it’s stoney minerality, fresh acidity and an ever so slight spritz. It is often said that Albariño is a great alternative to Chardonnay but I know that will put a lot of people off. It has more body than you’d expect for a wine with otherwise delicate flavours and is definitely one worth trying if you haven’t before.  Continue reading…