Roast Beef and Callabriga 1999, un’ottima combinazione


I had the occasion to try a fabulous wine from Portugal this week. It was Casa Ferreirinha’s 1999 Callabriga. Imported by Broadbent Selections, it is truly a remarkable wine. Deep ruby red in color, it showed some red fruit, earthy notes, a hint of pepper and cedar with animal, meaty undertones and good structure despite its nine years. Made with the classic Port grapes – Touriga National, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), this wine comes from the Douro Valley region. Jamie Goode at Wineanorak has written extensively on the subject on his blog. Check it out. My experience with Portuguese wines is somewhat more limited but this one was definitely a keeper. Not inexpensive, it sells for about $60. The wine would work perfectly with game but I rarely have that at home. I do love a good roast beef though and here is a recipe for one from a dear friend who lives in Milan and happened to visit last week, Sally Altrocchi. Sally, an advertising star and much more of a fashionista than I will ever, is also a great cook and hostess. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, she is always baking cookies and making snacks for guests and friends. I love her apartment in Milan, the scene of many writing workshops, nice memories and good food.

Friend Recipe No. 2 – Sally Altrocchi
Roast Beef

1 standing rib roast (meet with the bone on it), 2 to 4 ribs flour
salt & pepper

Remove roast from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about
4 hours prior to cooking).
Preheat oven to 500°F/260°C
Place roast in open shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Sprinkle with a
little flour and rub the flour into the fat lightly. Season with salt and
pepper to taste.
Put the roast in preheated oven and roast it according to the chart below,
timing minutes EXACTLY. When cooking time is finished, turn oven OFF. DO
NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR AT ANY TIME. Allow roast to remain in oven until oven is
lukewarm, about 2 hours. Roast will keep an internal heat suitable for
serving as long as 4 hours.
Yield: 2 servings per rib.


Number of Ribs Weight Total roasting time
2 4.5 – 5 lbs. 25-30 minutes
3 8 – 9 lbs. 40-45 minutes
4 11-12 lbs. 55-60 minutes


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