Tag Archives: eating

Wine and Food Match test – Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine & a Shiraz

This week I’ve decided to road test a food and wine match suggestion I recently read about.


I came across this suggestion through Foxtel’s Lifestyle Food newsletter, featuring their wine expert Angus Hughson. His motto – ‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’. I couldn’t agree more.

Foxtel Lifestyle Food newsletter

The wine suggestion was the 2012 Angove Long Row Shiraz; an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz, described as being medium bodied, peppery, fruity with dark cherry notes.


The food suggestion was Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine. For those of you who don’t know me, I must let you know I am a massive Jamie Oliver fan, so this match suggestion had intrigued me from the get-go; yep, that’s me with Jamie Oliver.

Me Jamie Oliver

Armed with the wine suggestion and recipe in hand, off I trundled to my local supermarket to source the ingredients. Unfortunately my local wine seller did not stock this particular wine, however, Angus did suggest a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Grenache as the best wines to pair with Beef Tagine.

Putting my reading glasses on, I scoured the wine racks to find something that would be of similar style to the Angove Long Row Shiraz. What I came out with was a Partisan Trench Coat Vintage 2010 from McLaren Vale – a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (or commonly known as a GSM wine).


Partisan Trench Coat

The label stated the style of the wine to be ‘spicy, complex and brightly fruity’, which I figured aligned well with Angus’ first suggestion of pairing it with an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz – A man in a trench coat is elegant right?







After a long 3 hours waiting for the beef tagine to cook, I could not wait to sink my teeth in to the food and wine.


The verdict? Angus you are a star. This was a match made in heaven. The melt in your mouth meat paired perfectly with the spicy and fruity Shiraz – or in my case the GSM.


The Partisan was a dream to sip on – peppery on the nose, and spicy on the palate. I could easily drink this wine without the beef, however drinking it with the tagine really did balance out the 100+ spices that went in to the dish.

Jamie oliver beef tagine partisan

If you have a few hours to spare, I highly recommend you to whip up this dish and have your Shiraz on hand to serve up at a dinner party. I can guarantee you will have your friends coming back with their wine glass asking ‘Please sir, I want some more?’


Until next time wino’s,





Here’s the recipe! Credit to Lifestyle Food channel.



  • 600g stewing beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 800ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • 1 small squash (approximately 800g), deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

For the spice rub

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix*
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika


*Ras el hanout (Arabic for ‘top of the shop’) is a blend of the best spices a vendor has in his shop. The mixture varies depending on who is selling it, but can be a combination of anywhere from 10 to 100 spices. It usually includes nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, aniseed, turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, dried galangal, ginger, cloves, cardamom, chilli, allspice and orris root.



1 Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavour the meat.


2. When you’re ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.


3. At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.


4. Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.




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Top Ten Times to Tip the Bottle and have a glass of wine

The weekend is here! To celebrate, I’ve poured myself a glass of wine.  I’ve also put together a list of my top ten best times to have a wine. Here it goes, in no particular order..


1. Birthdays

Pop the champagne bottle, this calls for a celebration.
Birthday’s are the perfect way to celebrate either your own birthday, or a friends’ birthday with a nice cold glass of bubbly to get the party started.

birthday cake






2. Eating

Pairing a good wine with good food makes me one happy girl. Not only does it make the wine taste better, but it also makes the food taste better.

My favourite cuisines – Vietnamese, Italian, and any type of Dessert. Yum!

dessert wine







3. Outdoors

Having a picnic or a BBQ in the sun is already relaxing enough as it is. Add a vino in to the mix, and needless to say, I become a sloth.







4. After work

Nothing speaks to me better than kicking up the heels after a long day at work, and relaxing with a glass of red in hand on the couch.

lounge wine







5. Catch up with friends

Having a group of girlfriends who are also vino lovers means a good goss sesh over a great bottle of wine. Wine for the soul, with my soul sisters.

girlfriends drinking






6. At the races

While a glass of wine can cost you a months worth of salary at the races, it would be criminal not to enjoy a glass when dressed up to the nine’s. The key here though is to keep it classy ladies and gents.


race day






 7. A plane flight

Those long haul flights can be a killer. After squeezing in all the movies I can watch…”ahhh twister and jumanji” (reference from The Castle!), a glass or two or three of red will send me right to sleep.

plane wine






8. At the movies

While they are few, far and in between, a cinema that stocks wine is one of the best things since sliced bread. Lesson to learn here though, is to stick to just one glass to avoid those annoying toilet breaks – you don’t want to be ‘that’ person who whispers in your ear throughout the movie ‘What did I miss?’ ‘So who’s that guy?’ ‘Why are they doing that?’


cinema wine






9. Karaoke

To loosen up the vocal chords, a glass of wine is the perfect choice to go from feeling like I have gaffa tape over my mouth to sounding like Beyonce, complete with all the moves.

bridget jones wine





10. New Years

Pop the Champagne bottle and pour me a glass of bubbly – what a great way to kick start the new year. Tip that bottle a little more please.

new year champagne







Needless to say, there are many other times a glass of wine goes down a treat. Let me know your best moment.


Until next time winos,



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