Argentine Beef Stew with Apple, Pear & Pumpkin and Merlot

“What do you want for breakfast?”, asked my friend.

“I want juicy, bloody steak”, said I.

I usually don’t eat breakfast, but there is one place in the world where I wake up in the morning with a big craving for meat. That’s Argentina. Argentine steak is known for being the world’s best. In that lush country, cows roam in open fields and graze on natural grass, free of additives. They are also not fed hormones or antibiotics. I think it’s the natural way of growing cows that makes Argentine beef taste so incredibly delicious. It is in fact so good that I think vegetarians may even be tempted to try it and turn into omnivores. Today, in my California kitchen, I’m making a delicious Argentine beef stew with Fall seasonal fruits and vegetables, including pumpkin, apple, pear and sweet potato.

To start, I preheat some extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron pot and sauté 2 cloves garlic (crushed) and 1 onion (chopped). Then, I add 2.5 lbs beef stew meats and ½ cup tomatoes (chopped) with 1 Tablespoon sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Next, I add 1 apple (peeled, cored & chopped), 3 dried pears, ¼ cup fresh parsley, 1 potato (cubed), 1 sweet potato (cubed), 1 cup pumpkin (cubed) and 2 cobs of corn (sliced into total 6 pieces). Then I stir everything in and add 2 cups beef stock and ¾ cup of rice. Finally, I cover the lid and simmer until beef turns tender.

 I am pairing the Argentine beef stew with a 2006 Misa Vineyard Merlot from Carneros, Sonoma. This round, dry red wine has a palate-softening flavor of blackberry, black cherry and plums with velvety tannin. I absolutely love the flexibility of this wine! A bite of potato and pumpkin coated with the fruity broth of the Argentine beef stew stands beautifully with a sip of this plummy Merlot. A tender beef meat soaked in the “Fall flavor” also matches the fruit-forwardness and earthiness of the Merlot. And, how perfect the silky texture of the wine is with this creamy Argentine beef stew & its subtle fruity backdrops. This food and wine pairing is like watching a soft-spoken lady gliding silently on the falling leaves with her gentle, easy-going lover. They are such great partners made for each other. If one falls, the other catches. And if one floats up in the air, the other brings the feet down to the ground. Sounds like an amazing couple? You bet! Try this recipe and wine pairing and let me know what you think!

 Hope you enjoy the taste of Argentina in the colorful Fall. Stay warm in the cool season and happy cooking!

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