Lemberger (AKA “Blaufränkisch”) with London Broil, Utica Greens and Baked Polenta

I’ve been chomping at the bit to post my first in-depth wine paring that works with my style of cooking. In this case, it was the wine that drove the idea for the meal. I love Finger Lakes Lembergers! (AKA Blaufränkisch). So I did a little research online to see what’s to be said about foods that go well with this varietal. For those of you who are not familiar with Lembergers, it is a dry red European grape variety that does very well in cool weather climates such as Austria, Germany and you guessed it…The Finger Lakes of upstate NY!

One of the first meals that popped up on my google search for pairing this wine was a Hungarian Smoked Sausage and Red Potato Goulash. So right away I start thinking, how am I going to mimic this dish in an “Italian way.” After all, Italian country-style peasant dishes are in my wheelhouse. But then I thought, one day I will make the Hungarian Goulash as is, but for now, I chose to pair this wine with an Italian-American peasant dish from one of my existing recipes. Somehow, I came up with Slow Roasted London Broil, Utica Greens, and Baked Polenta! 

This 2019 Finger Lakes Lemberger from Fox Run is one of my favorites. For about $17.00 you’re getting a nicely balanced wine with impressive red and black fruit on the nose and palate. It’s a little slow at the beginning of the palate but just increases with good news from mid-palate to finish. 

I get deep red cherry, licorice, and just a touch of oak and vanilla on the nose with a little white pepper. On the palate, those very same aromas translate nicely with intensity. Mid-palate is peppery which lingers to the beginning of the finish. The finish lingers for a decent amount of time with good acidity and ends with welcomed tannins for the meal it was paired with. This Lemberger is truly a “food wine.”  

Dijon mustard, pepper, and a slurry of barrel-aged balsamic with dry red wine were key ingredients in the London broil marinade. The intense cast-iron searing of the beef creates a smoky flavor as well. The Utica Greens base ingredient is escarole along with some zesty vinegar peppers and bits of prosciutto. I made a buttery-baked polenta to soften things up a bit as well.  

I thought the peppery characteristics of the Lemberger would create a continuance of the zesty spirit of the meal all the way up to the finish. And it did! While a London broil cut of meat is lean and does not require that much acidity, I thought the medium to almost high acidy was a great counter to the buttery polenta and prosciutto in the Utica Greens.  The black fruit and licorice notes in this wine balanced out the vinegar peppers and bitter escarole in the greens. The moderate oak and impressive tannins on the finish set your palate up for your next fork full of this humble but delectable dish!

I will be posting the recipes for this meal this week so stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you for visiting my blog! 

Published by mruglio

I'm a third-generation Italian American cook that is passionate about Italian food and all that surrounds it.

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