As we enter the last week of March, we can officially say goodbye to the remaining cold days for the start of 2016. And with that, we thought we'd bid adieu to Jack Frost with one last hearty meal paired with a full-bodied red: the 2013 Meritage Estate Wine.
An eclectic mix of flavors and aromatics
We had fun making this exotic meal to pair with the Meritage. We thought this recipe from our dinner saviors, Blue Apron, was a fitting companion to our Estate wine.
Be prepared for a cornucopia of flavors.
2 Merguez Lamb Sausages
1/3 cup French Green Lentils
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Red Onion
1 Bunch Mint
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
Cook the lentils. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the lentils. Cook, stirring occasionally, 24 to 25 minutes, or until slightly tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.
Prepare the ingredients. While the lentils cook, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic, Peel and small dice the carrots. Peel and small dice the onion. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
Cook the aromatics. While the lentils continue to cook, in a large pan (nonstick preferably), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrots, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, Wipe out the pan.
Cook the sausages. Heat the pan used to cook the aromatics on medium-high until hot. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.
Finish the lentils. To the pot of cooked lentils, add the cooked aromatics and vinegar, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate your dish. Slice the cooked sausages in half on an angle. Divide the finished lentils between 2 dishes. Top with the sliced sausages. Garnish with the feta cheese and mint (finely chopping just before adding).
- Reprinted from Blue Apron.
The vegetables, lentils and mint in the recipe surprisingly lighten up the meal. The vinegar accents the dish with a slight tang. You will find that although Meritage is a full bodied wine, it doesn't overwhelm the dish. Most importantly, the lamb nicely complements the cedar finish and chewy oak tannins in the wine.
We'd love for you to try this pairing and leave us your feedback. What did you think of the lamb and Meritage combination? Would you add any other spice to the recipe? We'd love to know!