The Cure - February 2014

Welcome to the February 2014 edition of The Cure

After a well needed break, we're back, shipping our first issue of The Cure for 2014. Fred starts things with a beautiful, and unusual, recipe for beef. Alanna McIntyre returns with another great wine pairing followed by our special cheese of the month. Lia Rinaldo returns with an excellent article about escaping Winter to head south on a beach-side, culinary dream! Last up is news at the shop and the ton of events coming up for March we're excited to tell you about. 


Beef Cheeks

By Frédéric Tandy

Beef cheeks are very inexpensive and fantastic for braising. True, they may be uncommon, but if you can get over the unconventional aspect (which you should!) you'll see they're absolutely tender and delicious. Cook them low and slow, they'll just melt in your mouth. For side dishes, you have plenty options. Try a pomme purée, fresh pasta, roasted vegetables or a cauliflower gratin to name a few.

Braised Beef Cheeks
Prep time: 45 mins (not including soaking the beans)
Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours
Serves 4

What you'll need

  • 2 large beef cheeks
  • 1 cup pancetta or bacon
  • 1 carrots (cubed)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 spring of Thyme
  • 2 spring of Rosemary
  • 1 spring of Sage
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1.5 litres veal stock (other stocks will work as well)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to do it

  1. Season the meat. 
  2. Sear the cheeks in a pot until you get a nice coloration on both sides.
  3. Add the carrots, garlic and onion.
  4. Sear for a couple minutes and then add the herbs. 
  5. Deglaze with red wine and port wine, reduce by 2/3 and then add the stock. 
  6. Bring to simmer and cook in the oven for 3 hours at 275° F.
  7. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pot. 
  8. Reduce the braising liquid by half.
  9. Strain the stock through a fine chinois and serve as a sauce.


Wine pairing with Braised Beef Cheeks

By Alanna McIntyre, Bishop's Cellar

The sommelier suggests 

When Frederic told me this month I would be pairing a wine with roasted beef cheeks, I was a bit stumped as I have never knowingly eaten them. Fred’s right hand man, Tom, likens them to Boeuf Bourgignon, but WAY more tender. 

Ok, that helped me understand the flavour and texture of the dish, but I was still unsure of what kind of cheeks we were talking about. After a quick google search, I learn that the cheeks come from the meat on other side of the cow’s head, attached to the cheekbones. Now that I’ve got all that figured out, I can finally move onto my wine selection. 

If the dish is similar to Boeuf Bourgignon, then the classic pairing of a well structured red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) with an aromatic and flavour profile of ripe cherry, forest floor and a Nova Scotian farmyard would work really well. If you are more in the mood for a bolder wine with darker fruit flavours and a bit more weight and richness on the palate, then try a full bodied, new world Cabernet Sauvignon with round ripe tannins like the 2011 Charles Smith Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley, Washington State. The wine fills and coats the palate with its plush fruit all while maintaining a liveliness thanks to good acidity levels, which is ever important when pairing wine with rich dishes. I am now intrigued and am going to pick up some beef cheeks to try this recipe at home.

Alanna McIntyre is a Sommelier at Bishop's Cellar. Visit their great location and follow them on Twitter.

The Cheese course

L'Hercule de Charlevoix
L'Hercule de Charlevoix offers similar characteristics as other notable alpine style cheeses such as Gruyère and Comté. Made from Jersey cows milk, the pate is dark yellow, hard and granulated, yet tender in mouth. The texture will improve with age, if you can keep it around long enough! You'll notice the taste will develop without becoming bitter. 

Photo: La Laiterie Charlevoix

From: La Laiterie Charlevoix, Québec
Type: Unpasteurized cow’s milk, pressed, cooked, natural rind
Fat content: 34% 
Texture: Firm 
Aged:  Between 6 and 18 months
Taste:  Smooth textured with a rich nutty, sweet, and fruity aroma
Accompaniments: Crisp white wines, Chardonnay, or even Champagne

#StormCharcuterie and a Winter Escape

By Lia Rinaldo

Hello fellow food lovers! 
Getting tired of this relentless slog of stormy Wednesdays? Had enough of the Halifax phenomenon, #StormChips? I think it’s time to make a case for #StormCharcuterie. Think about it. In this seemingly unending, gray winter, how about a picnic of artisanal meats and cheeses in front a wood stove to make you feel a little brighter? Imagine a decadent Ratinaud plate piled high with duck prosciutto, rabbit rillette and spicy salami with fennel, then add in a few cheeses–Brie de Meaux, Le Bleu d’Élizabeth, and Garrotxa–finish it all with a crusty baguette and a bottle of red wine. Suddenly those chips are fading and so are thoughts of winter. 

There’s also another way to escape this weather. You subscribe to this e-newsletter, chances are, you are an epicurean of sorts. You seek out good food. You have probably found yourself at a number of Kitchen Table dinners, because why stop at just one? And now, you are looking for the next food experience, allow me to introduce a warm, Caribbean option to you. 

From March 26-29, 2014, the beautiful Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina (Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas) will play host to the first annual Devour! The Beach. The festival will hold three days of culinary events led by international chefs from Chicago, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Dallas, Ottawa and Halifax. 

From ocean-side gala dinners (one featuring classic French cuisine from chef Jean Joho) to wine tastings hosted by a Master of Wine from the UK to grilling your own fresh caught fish on the beach, our aim is to make it easy for you to make your way to a remote paradise. Reachable only by boat and surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, once you arrive, you will never want to leave. I promise.
Lia Rinaldo blogs over at Se7en's a Banquet, 9ine's a Brawl, writes all about food for Local Connections Halifax and is the Managing Director of Devour! The Food Film Fest and Devour! The Beach.


Happening at Ratinaud

By Tom Crilley
Ratinaud presents Fromage: Courses & Pairings

In France, cheese is always served as a last course. It’s a great way to complete a meal. Gather with us in the shop, after your dinner time, for an introductory cheese tasting and pairing course.

Our resident cheese enthusiast, Kate Willison, will be on hand to walk you through different cheeses and how they pair with an assortment of wine and beer.

The menu includes ten tastings, ranging from the softest and creamiest cheese, to the firmest. Our delicious charcuterie and other small side dishes will also help fill out the table. The evening features paired wine and beer. And last, a helpful notebook will be provided to each guest as a take away.

Fromage: Courses & Pairings take place every Wednesday in March, 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th at 8pm.
Tickets are $60 per person (taxes included) and can be purchased here.

Savour Food & Wine Festival 2014 
The Savour Food & Wine Festival is a series of unique events designed to celebrate Nova Scotia's cultural interest and passion for great food and wine.

We'll be at the Cunard Centre on Thursday March 6th, food in hand, with all our colleagues. We hope to see you there! You can get tickets here.

Chef Pop-Up at Front & Central dinner series 
Last year David Smart of Front & Central invited his peers into his kitchen to show off what happens when chefs unite. The result was a series of memorable dinners available to a lucky few.

On Friday March 21st, Fred will be heading north to Wolfville to join the list of great Nova Scotia chefs who have worked side by side with David and the Front & Central crew. Their menu will be classic French cuisine, with a twist. Stay tuned to the March issue of The Cure for details. In the meantime, tickets can be purchased here.

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