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Outdoor weather is just around the corner. Entertain your family and friends with good food like this Red Wine Marinated Grilled Steak Sandwich with grilled onions, cheddar cheese and arugula, and Cherry and Blackberry Red Wine Granita with sweetened black pepper sour cream for dessert! All made possible with great-quality wine like this Black Box Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon. All the flavor of top-quality wine, but with the convenience and affordability for everyone!
(PIN IT FOR LATER)
The month of April has been a strange one so far weather-wise where I live. It’s been up and down and all over the place, trying to make up it’s mind about whether it still feels like winter, wants to ease into summer, or just play it by ear. Pretty much every day of the month so far has been wildly different weather. This past Sunday however we struck gold with glorious weather. The kind of weather that finally convinces you that dreary winter days are firmly behind you. The kind of weather where staying cooped up inside the house should be made punishable by law. The kind of weather where a picnic date was inevitable.
Mr K has been straining under a mountain of work these last few weeks, so I really wanted to make something special of whatever free time he had on the weekend, which wasn’t much to start with. Sometimes, having a good time is going back in time, so that’s just what we did. No TV, no laptops, no cellphones, no cables, basically nothing that beeps or could be remotely controlled. Just our backyard, amazing food, and a special guest that made it all possible – Black Box Wines!
Mr K is a red wine or no wine kind of guy. I, on the other hand like white! But since this was his time to pick the wine, we got the Cabernet Sauvignon, which turned out to be a great idea because we both loved the flavor profile of this wine – cherries, blackberries, a hint of black pepper spice and soft, smooth tannins. What’s not to love? Plus, it comes in a recyclable box and one box = four 750ml bottles. So no glass bottles, very portable, absolutely perfect for a picnic date! Or a dinner date, or a party, or game day or for entertaining large groups. Or one very enthusiastic wine drinker, like yours truly.
I always do my research when it comes to wine. I’ve been burned before by spending my hard earned $ on wine that stayed in the fridge until it went bad or down the sink. So wine is NEVER an impulse buy for us. And it’s truly amazing how many boxes this Black Box Wine ticked for us. This is super premium quality wine that has actually won over 50 Gold Medals for its quality in addition to being the winner of 29 Wine Enthusiast Best Buys. And what’s even better is that it’s available for 40% less than comparable bottled wines, so it’s very affordable too. And the wine stays fresh for up to 6 weeks as well (not that it’s ever going to last that long in our house).
So great quality, convenience and cost-effective. That’s a win-win-win for me.
I’ll be sharing a little more information about Cabernet Sauvignon after the recipe, so if you’re a wine nerd like me, make sure to check it out! 🙂
And as for the food? I wanted it to be a little more special than an average weekend lunch, filling but not too heavy, and easy to take outside with us. And my idea of a picnic date is also food that can be prepared ahead of time and can be put together easily on that day. So what was my menu? How does a Red Wine Marinated Grilled Steak Sandwich with grilled onions, cheddar cheese and arugula (rocket salad), and Cherry and Blackberry Red Wine Granita with sweetened black pepper sour cream for dessert sound? It was every bit as delicious as it sounds!
Red wine and steak are a great match of course. I wanted something hearty and meaty to go with the wine. The steak is marinated in red wine, garlic, thyme and grilled to a perfect medium rare (135 F) and then sliced thin and piled generously on top of a slice of toasted French bread. Then drizzled with a red wine reduction glaze, grilled onions, arugula and wonderfully sharp, creamy cheddar cheese. I was lucky enough to get my hands on two beautiful New York strip steaks. I marinated both steaks overnight with the Cabernet Sauvignon, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. The wine really goes inside, and it smelled amazing the following day.
The marinade was then reduced to a buttery red wine glaze. I also served some perfectly ripened sweet tomatoes with the grilled steak sandwich. The flavors were truly incredible!
And for dessert, I used the Black Box Wines Cabernet Sauvignon to make a Cherry and Blackberry Red Wine Granita and you can get the recipe for that right here. Refreshing, fruity wine granita topped with sweetened black pepper sour cream – so easy to make and perfect for summer entertaining!
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Red Wine Marinated Grilled Steak Sandwich
- 2 New York Strip Steaks about 9-10 oz each
- 5-6 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon wine
For grilling and the red wine glaze
- Extra salt and pepper for the steak
- Oil for grilling
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 medium sweet onion cut into thick slices and separated into rings
- 1 small loaf of french bread or ½ of a baguette
- Cheddar cheese
- Tomatoes to serve
Red Wine Marinated Steak
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl or a container that will fit both steaks snugly (or use a large ziploc bag). Coat the steaks well with the marinade and let them marinate overnight (flip the steaks over at some point to make sure they marinate well all around).
- The next day, remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. (Note - the steaks will have taken on a purple color from the red wine). Heat your grill pan to medium high heat. When it's hot, brush the grill with some oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper generously on both sides of the steaks and cook on the grill - 5 minutes on each side for medium rare for a steak that's about 1.25 inches thick, or until the internal temperature reaches ~135°F.
- After the steaks have been grilled, let them rest, covered, for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Grill the onions on the same grill pan, about 5 minutes on each side, until the onions have softened. Set aside.
Red Wine Glaze
- Transfer the marinade, sugar and the juices from the rested steak to a pan, and simmer for about 10 minutes. When the glaze has thickened, add the butter and stir it in until the butter melts and incorporates fully into the glaze. Taste and season. Strain to remove the thyme and garlic. Set aside.
- Cut the french bread in half and grill until the bread is warm and crispy on the surface.
- Spread some butter (or mayonnaise) on both halves.
- Thinly slice the steak and pile it on one half of the bread. Generously drizzle red wine glaze over the steak. Top with grilled onions, arugula and cheddar cheese. Serve with tomatoes, or a side salad.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
What are your favorite Summer entertaining tips and ideas? And how much wine is involved in those ideas? 🙂 I feel like wine marinated grilled steak is definitely something you guys should try soon! You can visit Simple Entertaining Social Hub for more fantastic Summer entertaining ideas!
Today’s knowledge bomb on Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon is manufactured in various places around the world. The most notable region is France (Like Bordeaux), and Chile in South America is the second most notable region. The characters and flavor notes of a Cabernet Sauvignon depend on the climate in which the grapes are grown.
Cabernet Sauvignon is traditionally made from red grapes with thick skin – which is why they have a deep color and are usually rich in tannins.
The major base flavor notes in all Cabernet Sauvignons are cherry, blackberry and black currant with a hint of spice in the form of black pepper. Cabernet Sauvignon from the Chilean region usually has chocolate or mocha notes too – which is true of this wine.
And as you’d expect the flavor notes in a Cabernet Sauvignon changes depending on the region – in warmer climates they tend to be more fruity (as the grapes are more ripe) enhancing cherry, and other fruity notes and they also have a smoother tannin (or less tannin) flavor. In cooler climates they have minty notes with more acidity, while retaining some of the berry and cherry notes.
On a side note, we also now know that red wine can be more than just a drink – if you use a good wine as a marinade, your steak can taste truly amazing!
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