Here at our house, one of our favorite Sunday night traditions is steak and French fries dinner. We pan-fire prime New York strip steaks from our favorite local butcher and we roast hand-cut French fries.
Just to give the steak some added flavor, I’ll also sauté a large jalapeño pepper and some scallions in the same pan (I generally start cook the pepper and scallions before I add the steak, which I rub generously with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper).
It’s all-American evening in Houston, Texas, where we also usually watch a movie together for the occasion.
Americans are so hung up on drinking “big” tannic wine with steak. They often think that Cabernet Sauvignon — and in particular, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with its signature “big” style — is the only wine category worth of a great piece of beef.
It doesn’t occur to most that Lambrusco is actually a very tannic grape. And few know that it makes for a sublime pairing with charred steak like the ones we like to make a couple of times of month (after all, we have two little kids at home and steak is a great excuse to get them to enjoy protein).
Of course, like any good Texan, I like my steak served with a little bit of heat, hence the jalapeño and the habanero-based sauce I like to use with my beef.
That’s another reason why I like serving Lambrusco with steak: Because it’s served chilled and because it sparkles with freshness, the heat doesn’t overwhelm it the way it would a Nebbiolo or a tannic Pinot Noir, for example.
The next time you sit down to a great hunk of beef, pop open a bottle of Lambrusco. Trust me: you’ll thank us.