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Lubyee Bi Lahmi + 2015 Materra Right Bank #MerlotMe #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Materra Wines, one of the #MerlotMe event sponsors.
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Hello, October. Hello, #MerlotMe month. Yes, that's right: an entire month filled with Merlot-food pairings made all the more fun with the samples of Merlot from all around that keep appearing on my doorstep!

Besides getting to play with food and wine, I love that every year I receive wines from winemakers that I have never tried before. This is the perfect case in point. I received a bottle of the 2015 Right Bank from Materra Cunat Family Vineyards* this time around.

In My Glass

I received a bottle of 2015 Materra Right Bank Merlot. From the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, this 99% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon blend retails for $50. On the nose, the wine is subtly sweet with aromas of red fruit tempered with roasted coffee. On the palate, I got more spice and wood with notes of mint and juniper.

This was a smooth, balanced wine that begged for a hearty food pairing. We sipped and swirled long beyond dinner. What a beautiful Merlot!

On My Plate

There's a story behind this dish for me...I told the boys: "This dish was one of your Daddy's favorites when he was a little kid. And when Daddy and I were getting married, Aunt Jenn had a party for me...called a 'bridal shower.' She asked guests to give me copies of their favorite recipes. And because Grandma knew that Daddy loved this dish, she wrote out the recipe and sent it to me."

I've since adapted it and even made more adaptations for this dinner based on different versions of Lubyee Bi Lahmi. I've always used chunks of meat; this time, I decided to try ground lamb. 

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 C mushrooms, brushed and thickly sliced
  • 1 C fresh tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C red wine (I used some leftover Merlot)
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C organic beef stock
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 t fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
Procedure

In a large, flat-bottom pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onions and celery until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add in the ground lamb and cook until fulled browned. Stir in the herbs and cinnamon.

Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook until softened. Pour in the tomato sauce, wine, water, and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to let the flavors fully meld. Add in the green beans and cook until the beans are just beginning to soften.  You don't want them mushy! It should take approximately 6 or 7 minutes.


Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over a bed of rice. We also had a tossed green salad on the side. When I saw the phrase on the cork, I smiled. Bringing people together. Love that!


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*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

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