I was sent some Tempranillo wines from the Ribera del Duero region in Spain to make a recipe with. I love it because it has a gentle yet expressive flavor that is perfect for pairing with the types of in your face comfort foods I am known for cooking.
I get mostly whiskey and leather flavors when drinking it, with a hint of fruit and vanilla. You know these are flavors I like to play around with, so it fit great in this polenta and grilled steak I made for a date night last weekend.
I also added the wine to the marinade for the steak and it helped give the meat a nice deep flavor. I served the beautiful strikingly purple polenta as a base, and topped it with the sliced skirt steak. I served a piece of grilled cauliflower on the side because I felt the need to have a vegetable in my life.
I marinated the steak in the Tempranillo wine, along with worcestershire, honey, and garlic.
The polenta is cooked in a mixture of wine, milk, and chicken stock.
Meanwhile, grill some cauliflower.
And then the steak itself.
Finally put it all together! The polenta has such a deep flavor from the Tempranillo wine and chicken stock, and it pairs so nicely with the grilled meat!
I love the stark color contrast on the plate as well.
And of course, serve it with the same Tempranillo wine that you used in the dish! The meal only uses a cup and a half of wine so there will be plenty more to drink. I highly recommend trying Vinos Torremoron Tempranillo 2015 (shown here) or Creta Roble 2014.
While developing this recipe, I caught up with Brahm Callahan, a Boston-based Master Sommelier and Beverage Director for Himmel Hospitality Group, to get his input on this pairing. “Torremoron Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero is the perfect pairing for a leaner cut of steak like the skirt steak used in this recipe. The lush red fruits in this wine are nice and bright, which help cut down the richness of the polenta and pleasantly contrast the smoky notes of the grilled steak. To round out the meal, Torremoron finishes with subtle earthy tones that really enhance the flavors of the grilled cauliflower as well.”
If you’re in the market for a new wine, give Tempranillo a try! Look for wines from Ribera del Duero at your local wine shop or on wine.com! You can know it is from the region by checking for this logo on the back of the bottle.
Tempranillo Polenta with Skirt Steak and Grilled Cauliflower
- 1 pound skirt steak
- 1/2 cup Tempranillo wine
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup medium grind cornmeal
- 1 cup Tempranillo wine
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup grated parm
- salt and pepper
- A few slices taken out of the center of a head of cauliflower
- grated parm
- Mix the marinade ingredients in a mixing cup. Place the steak in a container or zip lock bag and pour the marinade over it. Allow it to sit for a half hour or up to 6 hours.
- Bring the wine, milk, and stock to a boil and whisk in the cornmeal. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes until the cornmeal is tender. Stir in the butter and parm. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Grill the cauliflower with lots of oil, salt, and pepper on high heat for about 10 minutes per side to get some char and cook through.
- Grill the steak on high heat for about 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
- Place the polenta on a plate, top with some cauliflower, and then the steak. Top with grated parm and serve.