In preparation for an upcoming the Cabernet Franc event for Wine Pairing Weekend crew, I got ahold of three bottles of Cab Franc and took two over to a dinner party. You'll hear about that tasting next month, but the third bottle I kept for my own table. And, on a stormy evening this weekend, Jake and I paired it with some tea and pepper-crusted filet mignons.
In My Glass
Martian Ranch & Vineyard is a biodynamically farmed vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Created by Nan Helgeland in Los Alamos, California, the name is a blending of her sons' names, Martin and Ian.
I was able to track down a bottle of their sold-out 2014 Cabernet Franc. Helgeland has a drive to find a plot of land best suited for each specific varietal. Here's the 'Martian's eye view' of her vineyard...the Cab Franc is cultivated in plot 08.
In the glass, the wine is inky, almost black. On the nose, I get aromas of cherries with a hint of mushrooms. On the palate, the wine is well-balanced and smooth which made me think of a steak topped with silky, caramelized onions. To add some more complexity, I went with a Steak au Poivre and added in some pulverized smoked tea leaves, hence the Steak au Poivre et Thé.
On My Plate
I love the smoky aromas and flavor of Lapsang Souchong tea. I use it to add smokiness - as if from bacon - without actually adding bacon.
Ingredients serves 4
- 4 T Lapsang Souchong tea (use any black tea you wish)
- 4 t peppercorns (I used a mixture of black, white, and pink peppercorns)
- 1 t allspice berries
- 4 six ounce Filet Mignon steaks, approximately 1-1/2" thick
- sea salt to taste
- 2 T butter, divided
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
Melt 1 T butter in olive oil. Add the onions and cool until translucent and caramelized. Set aside.
In a spice grinder, add tea, peppercorns, and allspice. Grind coarsely and turn out on a plate. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees F. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and press them into the tea-peppercorn mixture.
To serve, place the steaks on a plate. Spoon the onions over the top. Serve immediately. I served this with a salad and scalloped potatoes on the side.