An autumnal feast and wines to match

Written by
Vintage Cellars
May 13, 2019
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The autumn season begs for simple, colourful, rustic cuisine paired with equally beautiful and classic wines.

Read time: 8 minutes

Roast Chicken with Brussels Sprouts, Kipflers & Pancetta

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes (plus, marinating and resting time)

TRY: Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir, Central Otago, NZ
Pinot noir goes with everything, including chicken. However, the inclusion of the smoky pancetta and the earthy intensity of the Brussels sprouts requires a pinot with both depth and persistence. Central Otago pinot noirs exhibit both in spades, with the Mount Difficulty a regional benchmark.

Ingredients
100mL extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 2 extra garlic heads, halved
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon
1.6kg butterflied chicken
600g scrubbed kipfler potatoes, halved
500g Brussels sprouts, large ones halved, plus extra shaved Brussels sprouts (optional), to serve
8 golden shallots, halved
8 pancetta slices

Method
1. Combine 60mL oil, chopped garlic, thyme, lemon rind and juice in a large snap-lock bag and season to taste. Slash thickest part of chicken breasts in several places and slash each thigh (this helps the marinade to penetrate the flesh). Add chicken to bag (alternatively, marinate chicken in a large non-reactive dish), seal and massage through bag to work marinade into chicken. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Combine kipflers and enough cold water to cover in a large saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until par-cooked. Drain well and transfer to a large roasting pan with Brussels sprouts, shallots and extra garlic. Drizzle with remaining oil, season to taste and toss to combine. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender and golden brown, scattering pancetta slices on top in last 5 minutes of cooking.

3. Meanwhile, place chicken skin-side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper, pour over any excess marinade and roast for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes, then serve with roast vegetables and pan juices, scattered with shaved Brussels sprouts.

Mixed Greens & Feta Pie

Serves: 6-8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

TRY: Mollet Sancerre, Loire Valley France
Sancerre is the purest form of sauvignon blanc, its mineral-laden backbone and subtle savoury flavours are made for the intense garden-fresh cavolo nero and silverbeet. The feta echoes the earthy goat’s cheeses of Sancerre’s Loire Valley homeland, the wine's ping of lemon-fresh acid cementing the partnership.

Ingredients
50mL olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
700g mixed greens, such as silverbeet, cavolo nero and kale, leaves coarsely chopped
8 eggs
400g natural Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
50g (⅓ cup) plain flour
200g firm ricotta, crumbled
100g feta, coarsely crumbled, plus extra to scatter
½ cup each coarsely chopped dill, mint and flat-leaf parsley
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
8 filo pastry sheets
60g butter, melted

Method
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and sauté until fragrant but not browned. Add greens in batches, stirring occasionally for 1-2 minutes until just wilted, season and set aside to cool.

2. Whisk eggs and yoghurt in a bowl, add flour and whisk until smooth, then season to taste. Stir in silverbeet mixture, ricotta, feta, herbs, spring onion, and lemon rind and juice to combine, then adjust seasoning.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a sheet of filo with butter and place another sheet on top, brush once again with butter, then place in base of a buttered 26cm-diameter pie dish or ovenproof frying pan (about 4cm deep), letting sides overhang. Repeat with remaining filo and butter, working in stacks of 2 and placing each stack at a quarter turn to the previous
one. Trim excess with scissors, leaving about 2cm overhanging and brush all over with more butter.

4. Spoon in silverbeet mixture, spreading evenly. Scatter extra feta over, then fold over pastry and brush with butter. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden, stand for 15 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Scallop, Fennel & Lemon Risotto

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

TRY: Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River
The aniseed flavours of fennel cry out for a crisp, savoury white, yet one with the punch to match the richness of the risotto. The seared scallops add a sea-sweet note. A small barrel-fermented component adds richness to the Cape Mentelle, its zesty acidity in perfect tune with the scallops.

Ingredients
60mL (¼ cup) olive oil
60g butter, diced
1 leek, white and pale green parts, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g (2 cups) carnaroli rice or vialone nano rice
2 baby fennel, shaved on a mandolin, fronds reserved
150mL dry white wine
1.5 litres (6 cups) hot chicken stock or fish stock
100g mascarpone or crème fraîche
50g finely grated parmesan
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus extra lemon wedges to serve
20 scallops

Method
1. Heat 30mL olive oil and half the butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat, add leek and garlic, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until tender and translucent. Stir in rice and half the fennel to coat in oil and lightly toast (reserve remaining fennel in a bowl of iced water to crisp). Add wine and stir until almost evaporated.

2. Add hot stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until stock is absorbed before adding next ladle for 15-18 minutes until rice is al dente — you may not need all the stock. Season to taste, stir in mascarpone, parmesan, lemon rind and remaining butter and set aside off the heat.

3. Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, add scallops and sear for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, turn and brown remaining side.

4. Divide risotto among shallow serving bowls, top with scallops and remaining fennel, scatter with fronds and serve with extra lemon wedges.

T-bone with Mushrooms & Porcini Butter

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (plus, cooling, resting time)

TRY: Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz, Barossa
Powerful protein needs a powerful wine and The Signature is that and more. The beef’s intensity is enriched by the mushrooms and porcini-garlic butter, but all is swept away by The Signature’s decisive tannins and intense black fruit flavours.

Ingredients
8 large field mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 tsp finely chopped thyme, plus 3 extra sprigs
Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
1kg T-bone steak, at room temperature (see note below)
3 rosemary sprigs
Wilted spinach to serve

Porcini butter
20g dried porcini
250g butter, diced
2 golden shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp porcini powder (optional, see note below)
1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon

Note: you may need to order a T-bone of this size in advance from your butcher. Bring it out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to bring to room temperature. Porcini powder is available from select delicatessens and online from The Essential Ingredient.

1. To make porcini butter, soak porcini in a bowl of just-boiled water for 20 minutes to soften, drain well (reserve 100mL soaking water) and finely chop. Heat 30g butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add porcini and reserved soaking water and simmer for 4-5 minutes until all liquid evaporates, cool completely. Beat remaining butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add porcini mixture, porcini powder, tarragon and lemon juice, season to taste and beat to combine. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

2. Preheat oven to 200°C and arrange mushrooms on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Finely chop 1 garlic clove and combine in a bowl with olive oil, chopped thyme and lemon rind, then season to taste. Drizzle over mushrooms and roast on bottom rack of oven for 15-20 minutes until tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Season steak generously, rubbing into meat. Place steak, fat-side down in hot pan and hold it there for 1-2 minutes to brown and render some of the fat. Turn steak onto a flat side, brown well, then turn and brown remaining side. Place in oven for 5 minutes, turn steak in pan and roast for another
5 minutes. Turn steak upright on the bone and roast for another 5 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and place pan on a burner, add 80g porcini butter and allow to foam. Bruise remaining garlic with flat of a knife and add to pan along with thyme and rosemary sprigs. Tilt pan and spoon butter over steak, basting for 1-2 minutes. Transfer steak to a wire rack placed over a tray to rest for 10 minutes, and tip pan juices into a heatproof bowl. Serve roast T-bone with roast mushrooms, pan juices, remaining porcini butter and wilted spinach.