I’m torn about what to drink with Mark's recipes in The Independent today. Although they’re based on humble ingredients they’re classy recipes, most of which will take some time to prepare. An excuse for bringing out a good bottle from the cellar (or cupboard under the stairs) or finding an equally good value bottle? Here’s some alternative ways to play it.
Boiled ox tongue with vegetables and green sauce
This pared down version of bollito misto would probably be accompanied by a carafe of red house wine in Italy. Or a Valpolicella. So think in terms of a light Italian red with some acidity (the Wine Society’s Alpha Zeta Corvina Veronese at 4.95 would do the job nicely). An inexpensive dry Italian white such as Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi would work too
Chicken liver kebabs
Kebabs and wine? One of those cases of ‘you could but why would you?’ when a lager would do the job so much better. (It’s not the livers, it’s the yoghurt, lemon and garlic that would play havoc with most wines) I’m sure Mark would agree.
Roast saddle of rabbit with shoulder and leg cottage pie
OK, rabbit is cheap but this stylish, cheffy recipe which comes from Anthony Demetre’s new book Today's Special: A New Take on Bistro Food is a real labour of love, worth of a fine bottle. Root around in your cellar/the cupboard under the stairs and pull out an old claret, red burgundy or Rioja. (I always feel if you drink something you’ve had for a while it feels like it’s free! Or somehow doesn't class as current expenditure.)
Slow roasted shoulder of mutton
Another dish that would pair well with a red with a few years bottle age - although the meat is quite strong the sauce contains white wine and chicken stock. I’d go for a southern Rhone or Languedoc red - something like a Vacqueyras. Or possibly a mature Ribera del Duero, given mutton’s slightly gamey edge. But put a bottle or two of beer on the table as well. A good English ale like Timothy Taylor Landlord would hit the spot perfectly.