A Steak Salad to Pair with Shiraz

Grilled SteakHere’s the straight away secret to this steak and wine pairing:  fresh pressed garlic in the vinaigrette + Montreal steak spice.

The savoury flavours of this recipe compliment the peppery notes in a good shiraz. The bold fruit of these wines stand up to the rich flavours of the steak and blue cheese. Try an Australia shiraz above $15 if you want the full effect of this food and wine pairing. I find that some inexpensive bottles of shiraz can have a candied, bubblegum or vanilla note. While this can make for easy sipping, you need that big fruit of a better shiraz to maximize this food and wine pairing. You can also try syrah from areas of the world like British Columbia, Argentina or France. Look for one that’s described as having a peppery finish and full bodied fruit.

Wine suggestions:
D’Arenberg “The Footbolt” Shiraz $22.95 LCBO
Mitolo “Jester” Shiraz $21.95 LCBO

Here are the ingredients for the salad:
strip loin steaks
Montreal steak spice
mixed lettuce
shredded carrot
crumbled blue cheese
dried cranberries or cherries

dressing:
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of dried basil
pinch of dried oregano
fresh pressed garlic

Take the steaks out of the fridge 30 minutes before grilling. Sprinkle the Montreal steak spice on both sides, to taste.

Prep the salads by arranging lettuce, carrot, dried fruit and blue cheese on each plate.

Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together in whatever amount is needed for the number of diners. Add the mustard and Worcestershire and a pinch of each spice. Stir. Press one clove of garlic into the dressing. If you’re just serving enough for two, you might want to press only half the clove. Stir again vigorously with a fork.

Grill steaks in whatever method you like best. My preference is to heat the BBQ to 400 degrees F and grill for 8 – 12 minutes, flipping once. I also like to create cross-hatch lines the steak by grilling for 2 – 3 minutes, then angling it 90 degrees on the same side for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Slice the steak into thin strips and arrange on top of the salad. Drizzle dressing over the top and serve.

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