Saturday Kitchen

(by Susie)

Apologies for the rather late posting of this week’s Saturday Kitchen blog, but our trip to France and the inevitable fall-out in the form of kids’ washing, food shopping and toy tidying has left me with precious little time for writing.

This was actually my first SK shoot since Thomas’ birth and our director Andy was particularly kind to me, arranging for us to film in nearby Alton.  This thankfully allowed me enough time to get everyone organised and out of the house without things descending into the usual chaos.  It also meant that, for once, I wasn’t still half asleep when I applied my make-up.  Andy is a man with hidden depths of sagacity, from which we all regularly benefit…

It was my task this week to match wines to two wonderfully contrasting dishes; Lawrence Keogh of Roast in London’s Borough Market treated Peter Shilton and studio guests to Steamed Steak and Onion Pudding, whilst José Pizzaro cooked up a deliciously autumnal fish dish, Seabass with sautéed Wild Mushrooms, Sage and Crispy Serrano Ham.

As ever, Peter and I had a go at cooking the dishes here at home over the weekend and opening a few bottles that we thought might work.  We found that although the Steak Pudding was big on flavour in a way that might have suggested a New World Shiraz or Cabernet as a good match, the savoury flavour of the dish required something a bit more rustic and peppery.  We tried a few options from my favourite region for that style of wine, the Rhône Valley, and went for G.S.M. Rhône 2007 (M&S from £8.10), which was full of meaty, spicy hedgrow fruit flavours.

Lawrence was clearly a fan as he jumped in straight away with, ‘That’s delicious isn’t it’.  James agreed it was a great red and José was even more effusive in his wonderful Spanish way, saying ‘I love the wine going with it, just stunning.’

We tried a big selection of wines with the seabass, everything from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to Australian Viognier, white Burgundy and several Spanish and Italian whites.  What we found was that the saltiness of the dish needed a wine with soft, peachy flavours to balance it.  For once Sauvignon Blanc, so often a winner with flavoursome Mediterranean fish dishes, wasn’t quite right.  That said, there were a lot of whites that did work and José was absolutely spot on when he said he would have liked to try an Albariño with it.  A good Albariño would have been a great choice.

As it was I was filming in Sainsburys and we always need to take into account the range of wines each supermarket stocks.  Sainsburys has a particularly lovely Italian white, Giardini Falanghina 2009 (£7.99) which I knew would go brilliantly with the dish – and it did.  In spite of José’s understandable preference for a Spanish white he generously admitted ‘I have to say it’s very good’.  What a lovely man!

If you’d like to see José and Lawrence in action the show is still available to view for a few more days on BBC iplayer, with the wine bits at 0:17:53 and 0:56:38.