Wild boar, rattlesnake, venison, rabbit—today’s options in game meats are taking our palates on a culinary safari. From the cities to the suburbs, people are seeking out farm-raised meat alternatives, whether cooking at home or dining out. Graffigna, Argentina’s pioneering winery, is embracing this sustainable and natural food trend by partnering with Executive Chef Edgar Navarrete from Affaire Bistro and Lounge in New York City to create two delicious game recipes that pair with Graffigna’s signature bold wines.
The Dish: Venison Stew
The Pairing: Graffigna Centenario Malbec 2010
Ripe tannins balance the rich flavor of the venison shank, while the wine's hints of coffee and vanilla complement those found in this savory medley.
Venison Stew with Cinnamon & Wine
1 lb. venison meat diced for stew (leg)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced
3/4 cup flour
1 bottle of red wine (Graffigna Malbec)
2 quarts beef broth (canned)
5 cinnamon sticks
2 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper
Heat up a large braising pan. Season the meat with half of the olive oil (1/4 cup), salt and pepper. Heat the rest of the olive oil (1/4 cup) in the braising pan and cook the venison for about three minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Put the vegetables in the pan and sauté for about three minutes, season with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add the venison and mix. Sprinkle flour on top and continue mixing. Once the flour is cooked (when you can no longer see it) add the wine, beef broth, cinnamon sticks, parsley and thyme, and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and tomato paste, and stir until incorporated. Cover with aluminum foil and reduce heat to a simmer (very slow boil). Cook for one hour adding water if needed. Once the meat is tender, it is ready to serve.
The Dish: Rabbit Frisée Salad
The Pairing: Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio 2011
The subtle fruit and floral flavors of the Pinot Grigio are the perfect match for this adventurous salad.
Rabbit Frisée Salad with Poached Egg & Sherry Vinaigrette
2 whole rabbit legs, boiled and shredded
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. minced shallot
1 tbsp. minced chives
1 head frisée lettuce
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
1 quart water
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 slices of toasted French bread
In a saucepan heat the water and white vinegar until it reaches a temperature of 160° and poach the two eggs.
In a separate sauté pan, heat up the olive oil. Before it starts boiling, add the shallots, chives, and shredded rabbit meat, then lower the heat and sauté for one minute. Place the frisée lettuce in a mixing bowl. Add the sherry vinegar to the sauté pan. Immediately turn it off when it reaches a boil and mix it with the lettuce carefully. Season with salt and pepper. Place the two slices of bread in the pan, keeping it off while you finish setting up the salad.
Serve on a plate or in a bowl with the poached egg on top and the sliced bread on the side.