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Hearty Fall Food and Wine Ideas

When brisk, autumn weather makes you wish for rich, hearty meals, let New Zealand be the source of your culinary inspiration. The country's dishes make for delicious fall feasting. Think earthy meats like lamb and rich, roasted vegetables, paired with juicy, medium-bodied red wines.

Thanks to the development of six major grape growing regions with breathtaking landscapes, New Zealand has becomes a top destination for food and wine enthusiasts. While a trip halfway around the world may not be in the cards for you this fall, you can bring the classic flavors of New Zealand to your table by starting with a bottle from one of the country's top wineries.

Craggy Range Winery, a family-owned operation, creates New World wines with Old World style. The Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2014 ($44.99), a medium-boded selection, is an enjoyable accompaniment at a fall gathering. Its rich, red fruit, fine tannins, and good acidity creates a savory, dry finish on the palate and pairs nicely with many robust flavors of the season.

For an appetizing pairing, consider serving Pinot Noir alongside a classic recipe from the Terroir Restaurant at Craggy Range Winery: roast lamb shoulder with salsa verde and roasted carrots. The wine's bright red fruit will bring out the lamb's darker, earthier notes for a delicious meal.

Roast Lamb Shoulder

1 boned lamb shoulder, rolled and tied

1 large onion, quartered

1 carrot, quartered

4 cups chicken stock


8 cups water

1/2 cup salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 bay leaves

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 packet pickling spices

Salsa Verde

1/2 cup Italian parsley

1/2 cup mint

1/4 cup cornichon pickles

2 tablespoons of capers

1/2 cup olive oil

2 lemons, juice and zest

For the brine, 24 hours in advance, add all the ingredients to the pot. Bring to simmer at medium heat until salt has dissolved. Allow brine to cool completely. Place lamb in the cool brine, cover, and leave for 24 hours. Drain the brine and pat dry.

To cook the lamb, preheat oven to 300 degrees F, then preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the lamb. Brown the lamb all over them remove from the heat.

On a roasting tray, add carrot and onion. Add 4 cups of chicken stock. Place the lamb on top and place in the oven to cook for 3 hours.

Remove lamb from the liquid and rest for 25 minutes. In the meantime, strain and skim the stock and reduce by two-thirds.

For the salsa verde, blitz all ingredients in the food processor until smooth.

Slice the lamb and garnish with roasted carrots, salsa verde, and some stock. Serve with a class of Te Muna Road Pinot Noir.

Courtesy of State Point

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