While it may be the end of September, Spring has been a little shy about showing herself in Eden Valley just yet! We’ve had a few fabulously beautiful spring days, but there’s a definite chill about the hills that means the fires are still roaring and the love affair with a great bottle of red continues!
Many of our customers who have come up to the farm for a tasting around the kitchen bench would have been very familiar with a taste of “that little sample bottle” taken directly from tank that offered up so much promise! Well we’ve finally gotten around to bottling the 2008 Spice Bush Shiraz and it’s exceeded our expectations – great depth & length with typical Eden Valley cooler climate spiciness, bright red berry characters and fabulously curvaceous tannins.
As with any new relationship, we’re taking our time getting to know each other – we’ve established that she has good genes (very similar 05 fruit characteristics and with the richness and weight of the 06 vintage), is easy on the eye (brilliant lively ruby red) is well mannered (generally it’s only the third bottle that may give you a nudge around the temples) and has the curves of a ’40’s nightclub singer (with those great supple tannins)! We’ve shared many meals together, but the combination of spicy pastry goodness with the 2008 Spice Bush Shiraz must certainly be one of my favourites. These little pastries are best known in South America, and many southern European countries. They’re fantastically easy to make, and can be served as a starter, part of a shared dining experience or later on at night as a tapas!
Beef Empanadas Recipe
makes about 20 empanades
400g minced beef
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 small red pepper seeded & chopped
1tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2tbsp currants re-hydrated in a little verjuice or warm water
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ preserved lemon
¼ cup chopped coriander
2 x 445g Careme sour cream pastry**
Saute the onion, capsicum and garlic in a splash of extra virgin olive oil until softened. Add the mince and continue to cook until well browned. Add all of the spices and tomato puree, and the re-hydrated currants. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – adding a splash of shiraz at this stage if the mixture looks a little dry. Leave to cool slightly, then add the preserved lemon and coriander, taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary and set aside until you’re ready to make the empanadas.
To make the empanadas, cut out 10 x 10cm rounds from each sheet of pastry, divide the filling between the pastry circles and moisten the edges with a little water. Fold each pastry circle over to enclose the filling, making sure to press along the edges to seal. Create a rope effect by folding or pinching the edge over (you could also press a fork along the edge to create a different pattern). Brush each empanada with a little egg wash and bake in an oven previously heated to 200 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly and serve with a glass of full bodied spicy Radford Spice Bush Shiraz!
**Careme pastry can be found at most major supermarkets or Deli’s – check out their website to find your closest stockist. Any pastry off cuts can be rolled into a ball and refrigerated for half and hour before re-rolling for additional empanadas.