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Lazy Winter Weekends
© Sue Courtney
30 June 2002

Winter is well and truly upon us here in New Zealand. So it is time to think about winter veg and lazy wet weekend meals. In the latter category comes this simple meat loaf - open up a bottle of hearty red, splash some in the meat loaf and drink the rest with dinner. Further down are recipes for that hardy winter vegetable - Beetroot

Yummy winey meatloaf - for lazy winter weekends
500 gms prime mince beef
3 slices white bread
1/4 cup meaty red wine
1 tablespoon French mustard
one bunch coriander
salt and pepper
rashers of streaky rindless bacon

Rip up bread. Place into a bowl. Pour wine over. Mash together. I used the dregs from 3 bottles - a rich meaty malbec, a cabernet sauvignon and a ripe juicy merlot.

Add mince to the bread and mix well to combine the meat and the wine soaked bread.
Add the mustard and stir to combine well.
Add salt and pepper to season and a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Line the base of a meatloaf tin with bacon.
Put the mince mixture and pat level.
Cover with more rashers of bacon.

Pop into the oven and bake at 170 degrees C for about 45 minutes.

Serves 2 (with leftovers) or 3.
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Beetroot has been around for years but Ive only started experimenting with this earthy sweet veg, inspired by the miniature 'beets available at the greengrocers now. I liked these so much I ventured into the bigger version too.

One of the things I've discovered is that beetroot has a flavour similar to that I find in some pinot noir. Coincidentally, Michael Broadbent uses the beetroot a vegetal descriptior many times in his 'Great Vintage Winebook II'. I never knew what he was on about 'til now. If you are a pinotphile, then try these 'Whole Roast Beetroots'.

Roast Whole Beetroot
Pick a dark red beetroot. If you are cooking for more than one, pick beets of equal size. About tennis ball size is good.
Scrub beetroot carefully, removing any fine root fibres that might remain.
Wash and dry then prick several times with a fork.
Microwave beetroot for a couple of minutes then place into a dish an pop into a hot oven.
Cook until the beetroot is tender. You can test this by using a toothpick or skewer.
Serve with pinot noir.

Spiced Beetroot and Apple Sauce for Roast Pork
You will need -
1 beetroot and 1 apple of a similar size
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Peel beetroot and grate. Ditto the apple.
Melt butter in the saucepan
Add the grated vegeatabes and a couple of tablespoons of water plus the cinnamon and 4 or 5 whole cloves.
Stew, stirring occasionally, until the beetroot is tender and the liquid has all but evaporated but do not let the sauce dry out.
Serve as an accompaniment to roast pork.
I found meal really suited the Saint Clair Chardonnay 2001 and the Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay 2001, both from Marlbrough.

Baby beets and turnips and a goats yogurt sauce.
For 2-3 people.

6 to 8 miniature beets with leaves still attached
6 to 8 miniature turnips with leaves still attached
1/2 cup goats yogurt (this is quite runny)
one bunch fresh coriander leaves

Carefully wash beetroot and turnip so the skin does not get damaged or broken.
Place beets into a saucepan so the root vegetable is covered but the leaves stick out of the water.
Ditto the turnips in another saucepan. (You need to cook separately otherwise the white turnips will turn red.)
Boil the beets and turnips until cooked.
Blanch the leaves for 30 seconds to wilt.

In another saucepan, heat the goats milk - DO NOT BOIL as it will curdle.
Then add a handful of freshly chopped coriander.

Plate the vegetables and arrange so the greens are vertical. Pour the over the root vegetables.
Accompany with grilled (i,.e. broiled) lamb loin chops.
The ideal wine match for goats yoghurt is sauvignon blanc.

Alternative 1: Before serving, remove the stalks and leaves of the beets and turnip. Toss together. Mound on the plate as you would a salad. Place the baby vegetables on top. Serve with the goat yoghurt saauce or dress as you would a salad.

Alternative 2: Remove foliage as above before serving. However slice the beets as well - the candy-striped baby beets look very effective. Toss greens and sliced vegetables together. Serve with the goat yoghurt sauce or vinaigrette of your choice.

* * * * * * * *

Bon Appetit

© Sue Courtney
30 June 2002.

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