Montepulciano D’Abruzzo & Food Pairings

Braised Skirt Steak

Start with making a marinade. Mine was very simple, onions, peppers chopped very fine, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, hot sauce and wine (your choice white or red). First salt the meat, kosher salt, both sides. Then place in baking pan. Next chop the onions, garlic, peppers, etc…and mix in bowl with whisk or spoon. Once mixed, pour over the meat in the baking pan. Cover pan with plastic and put in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have that kind of time, a few hours will work.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and put steak in the oven. Check the steak after 40 minutes with a meat thermometer. Remove from over when it is rare and let sit in baking pan for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Lamb Sausage & Broccoli Rabe

There is a wonderful sausage which most people have never heard about or tried. It is called Cervelatte in Italian, but there are other spellings and pronunciations in French and German, but the Italian sausage is special. It is predominantly made from lamb and is in a lamb casing. Most sausages, even if not pork, are made with pork casing, but this has a lamb casing.
This sausage is so absolutely perfect! It is a little fatty, as is lamb usually, but cooks to a perfect crisp on the outside and just plump on the inside. It grills up on a BBQ perfectly or on a skillet on the stove.

During the summer I use the BBQ but in the winter I use the stove top. It is so simple, just turn on the stove, heat the pan, place in the sausage, which usually come wound in a wheel and grill. No need for oil or seasoning, it is perfect all alone.

The perfect vegetable with this sausage is broccoli rabe, another very Italian food. This is in the broccoli family, but is slightly bitter, which is what gives it the perfect flavor. Start a pot of salted water to boil. Cut the bottom 2 inches off the plant then blanch in the boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes. Remove and put in colander to dry. It should sit for at least an hour but the longer the better. In a skillet, saute some garlic, olive oil and sundried tomatoes or red peppers. As you saute add the broccoli rabe and cook for at least 10 minutes. Once broccoli rabe begins to soften, it is ready.

Place the broccoli rabe on a platter and the sausage on top. Serve immediately with Vignetti Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Montepulciano is produced in Abruzzo, a region in central/southern Italy in the mountains. This meal is a typical meal of this region and of course will pair well with this wine.

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