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Jan 8, 2013
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Wine With...Roast Beef Hash

The holiday was past, but we kept the spirit alive a couple of days later when we converted the leftover meat from our Christmas rib roast to hash. Every carnivorous culture knows the advantages, both economic and gastronomic, of chopping leftover meat to create a second savory meal. From the French verb hacher—to chop—hash is traditionally made from leftover roast beef (or corned beef) and potatoes. In the United States it is popularly served for breakfast, often topped with poached eggs, but we think this leftover amalgam of chopped beef, potatoes and onions is even better for dinner, especially since it has the added bonus of being a delicious partner for red wine.

Many traditional recipes call for stirring in a half cup or so of heavy cream once the other ingredients are tender and browned; the cream is cooked down over medium high heat until it forms a sort of rich and tasty crustiness on the bottom of the dish. We didn’t use cream, as our hash had plenty of flavor without it, but if you’re looking for extra richness on a cold winter’s eve, feel free to add some.

Roast Beef Hash

Don’t worry about precise amounts, or a specific ratio of meat to potato. Since the goal is to use whatever you have left over, the amounts we suggest are meant as a guideline only.

Cut the meat and potatoes into cubes about ¼ to ½ inch thick. If you have leftover beef drippings, use that instead of the oil for more robust flavor.

1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon or more olive oil or beef drippings
1½ to 2 cups (or more) cooked potatoes, cut in cubes
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 cups (or more) cooked beef, cut in cubes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup beef or chicken stock, or water
salt and pepper
minced parsley

Sauté the onion in the oil or beef drippings until soft. Add the potatoes and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown. Stir in the garlic; then add the beef, thyme and Worcestershire Sauce. Simmer over medium heat until the meat starts to brown, then pour in the stock or water. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until the meat is very tender and all the liquid has been absorbed (raise the heat if too much liquid remains in the pan and continue, cooking, stirring frequently, until it has been absorbed). Taste for seasoning and garnish with minced parsley.

* * *

This is a hearty dish that benefits from being paired with an equally hearty red wine. Our tasting revealed, though, that wines with overt earthy or rustic flavors tend to perform better than those in which the taste of fresh fruit proves dominant. If you think of hash as a stew without all the liquid, that makes sense, and the wines we are recommending are the same sort that pair easily with meaty stews. They’re great choices for warming both body and spirit on a chilly winter’s eve.



Selection

Approx. Price

Comments

Bulletin Place, Southeastern Australia (Australia) Merlot 2010

(Imported by Vineyard Brands)

$10

A surprisingly substantial Merlot, with deep, dark aromas and flavors reminiscent of coffee and chocolate atop a core of cherry-scented fruit. Quite complex given the low price tag.

Naked Earth (Vin de Pays d’Oc (France), Red Blend 2009

(Imported by Vinum International)

$12

Made with organically-grown grapes, this blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Grenache and Carignan offers a bouquet marked by deep spice and savory dried herbs. Red and black fruit flavors become more noticeable on the palate, but the initial impression of almost wild rusticity never disappears.

Château Peyros, Madiran (France) “Vielles Vignes” 2007

(Imported by Baron Francois)

$18

Quite tannic, this blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc offers mineral-laced flavors alongside deep, almost brooding fruit-filled ones. Its firm structure makes decanting advisable, as exposure to air will only enhance its appeal.

Las Rocas de San Alejandro, Calatayud (Spain) Garnacha

2009

(Imported by Las Rocas USA)

$14

The most supple red we are recommending, this Garnacha (the same grape as Grenache in France and elsewhere) may well also be the most intriguing. It offers multiple layers of flavor, with a distinct spiciness threading through, giving the wine a distinct personality.

Ventoso Vines, Manchuela (Spain) Bobal 2009

(Imported by The Spanish Wine Importers)

$13

Made with indigenous Spanish Bobal grapes, this wine displays excellent balance. It offers a vibrant streak of acidity that keeps its otherwise exuberant character in check, and so allows secondary earthy flavors to hold their own with the wine’s primary fruit-driven ones.