Zonnebloem matched with hearty winter dish

Friday, 7 June, 2013
Zonnebloem Wines
Slow down and savour Zonnebloem's Laureat, a rich, soft and juicy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 
Food fundi Andy Fenner has used the 2010 vintage that recently won gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards to match a robust and delicious long-cooked meat sauce. 

Like Zonnebloem, it takes time but it's worth the wait and pairs so well with the berry and spice flavours of the wine. 

Beef shin and shiitake mushroom gnocchi, with Zonnebloem Laureat 2010

"This recipe works beautifully on quite a few things once the meat and sauce have been made," says Fenner. "Gnocchi is one example, but feel free to use wet polenta or pasta. Store-bought gnocchi is fine if you can get hold of some from a good deli."

1 pack high-quality gnocchi
700g beef shin (bone-in) 
One large carrot, roughly chopped and equal parts onion and celery, also roughly chopped 
Four whole sprigs fresh thyme 
One whole sprig rosemary 
One 410 g tin tomatoes 
250 ml Zonnebloem Laureat 2010
100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, scrubbed and left whole
Pinch of flour
Parsley and pecorino, to serve

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Dust the meat in flour, shaking off any excess. Add oil to a deep, oven-proof pot and fry the meat on the stove top, until it has a bit of colour (a few minutes). Remove the meat and set aside.

In the same pot, fry off your carrots, onion and celery until soft but not coloured. Add the herbs, the tinned tomatoes and the wine. Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and return the meat to the pot. (Add some water if you need more liquid.) 

Cover the pot and place in the oven for at least two hours. (You can cook this for longer at a reduced temperature.) Ideally you can even cook it through the night.

Remove the pot from the oven, add mushrooms and cook on gentle heat, uncovered, so that the sauce reduces by about half. It should be thick and sticky.

Using tongs, carefully lift and remove meat from sauce. By now the meat should easily fall away from the bone. Allow to cool and shred the meat from bone before returning it (and any delicious marrow) back to the sauce.

Cook the gnocchi as per packet instructions. Drain and add to the sauce. Stir gently to ensure the gnocchi is nicely coated by the sauce.  Be careful though, so they don't break up.

Spoon into bowls and garnish with grated pecorino and roughly torn parsley.