Is there anything better than good wine, good food and good friends? Create more of those moments in the new year with ‘Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking‘ by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker. The new cookbook delivers 75 tasty recipes inspired by 75 wine styles from around the world, as well as 250 recommendations for wine producers. For extra credit, the cookbook provides a wine cheat sheet, a label lexicon lesson and illustrated wine pairings. While many foodies pick a wine based on the menu, in ‘Wine Food’ Frank and Slonecker determine meals by how a wine complement flavors.
The Oregon-based authors are also inspired the state. Dana Frank is co-owner of Bow & Arrow, an urban winery and wine distributor, and an award-winning sommelier credited with overseeing the wine lists for several famous Portland restaurants. Andrea Slonecker is a professional recipe developer and stylist who co-authored ‘Beer Bites’ and ‘The Picnic,’ which won a 2016 IACP Award. For the book’s Campfire Cassoulet recipe, the two tapped into their outdoorsy Oregon roots to create perhaps the most satisfying campout meal you’ll ever have. Get all the delicious details below.
From Wine Food: “If you’re like Andrea, the best part of camping isn’t the cold dip in the lake or the glass of whiskey by the fire. It’s not even waking up to the sound of tweeting birds or the smell of pine needles underfoot. Nope. The best part of camping is the campfire cooking. Planning the menu, packing the ingredients, and then roughing it with a good cast-iron skillet and a worn-in wooden spoon is one of life’s great pleasures. After a long day of playing in the woods, there’s nothing nicer than sitting down to a proper meal. Forget those freeze-dried packet entrées or Top Ramen eaten out of the pot it was cooked in. Here’s our recipe for a simple yet incredibly comforting and delicious cassoulet that takes about an hour and a half to cook—the perfect amount of time for a game of horseshoes while you watch dinner bubble away over the fire. It’s loaded with chunks of smoky pork sausage and bacon and white beans directly from the can, and finished with a shower of garlicky breadcrumbs.
And maybe it’s our outdoorsy Oregon roots that have us craving pinot noir when we’re camping, but this pairing is almost too easy. It’s partly environment that makes these wines a shoo-in for campfire cooking: the aromatics of pinot perfectly complement the dusty tree-scented air of nature. But the stewy smokiness of the cassoulet begs for a truly pretty wine, something that pinot noir is known for. Our favorite Oregon pinots are lighter-to medium-bodied and well balanced between earthy fruit, tingly acidity, and an almost ethereal texture. They’re not big fruit bombs, they shy away from oakiness, and they really taste like the place they come from. Oregon is arguably one of the greatest regions in the world for grapes, so we tend to feel spoiled with our access to great wine. We are proud to call all of these winemakers friends and greatly admire how they represent the very best of our beautiful state. Before leaving for the camping trip, pack a piece of string (to tie the herbs together later).”
Makes 4 servings, or 6 as part of a larger meal
Producers to look for:
- Cameron Winery
- Crowley Wines
- Division Winemaking Company
- Hope Well Wine
- Kelley Fox Wines
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup coarse breadcrumbs (homemade or panko)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1⁄2 by 1⁄2 by 2-inch rectangles (also known as lardons)
- 12 ounces smoked pork sausages, such as kielbasa, cut on a bias into thick slices
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, halved and sliced
- 2 large ribs celery, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (14-ounce) cans white beans
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
To make the breadcrumbs: Warm the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and garlic and cook, stirring, until the breadcrumbs are toasted and crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley and salt. Set the toasted breadcrumbs aside to cool completely, then transfer them to a zip-top bag to pack for the trip.
To make the cassoulet at the campsite: Build a campfire for cooking. As the fire burns down and turns to coals, use a stick to bank some of the coals toward one end of the fire pit, to create a hot side and a warm side. Place a grate over the fire.
Heat a 10-to 12-inch cast-iron skillet on the grate directly over the fire. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until some of the fat is rendered, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the sausages and cook until both meats are nicely browned, 4 to 8 minutes. If at any point they seem to be cooking too quickly, move the skillet to the cooler side of the fire.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the skillet and cook until tender and lightly browned, stirring rarely, 8 to 10 minutes. Gather the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf into a bundle and tie securely with the string you packed. Stir in the beans and their liquid, the tomatoes with their juices, and pepper, then bury the herb bundle in the middle of the pan. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, without disturbing until the liquid has thickened but the mixture is still a little stewy and the top looks a bit dry and crusty, 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of your pan and the heat of the fire. If at any point a steady simmer is lost, stoke the fire and pile the coals to keep the heat concentrated. Add more kindling, if needed.
Remove the skillet from the fire and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs in an even layer over the top and serve
Reprinted with permission from Wine Food, copyright 2018 by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photographs copyright © 2018 by Eva Kolenko