Carpaccio with Cranberry Bean Salad & Carmenere

by Liz Caskey on November 21, 2011

As Thanksgiving descends upon the masses up north, I want to share a short cooking and wine pairing video to give you some ideas that could easily become the first course spread. Yes, it is 90% do ahead. Important when you’re hosting a house full of hungry friends and family and need the oven for just about every dish.

This carpaccio is a departure from the typical beef or veal topped with Parmesan and capers. Here, we are going to pay homage to fresh Cranberry Beans, known as porotos granados in these latitudes. These legume gems are combined with paper-thin, heart healthy ostrich meat  and married with fresh herbs and a zesty vinaigrette that screams yumminess and eat-me-now. The beans come in hot pink shells and flood the local markets during the early summer. I spotted the first ones yesterday in the market and did my happy foodie dance as it’s a sign from nature that summer is nearly here. Toothy in texture with a bright taste, these beans layer on the wine-loving flavor and prove in this recipe that you can combine a medium red wine with something other than beef. Don’t have fresh cranberry beans? Don’t despair. In a pinch, use canned (and rinsed) white beans like Navy or Cannellini. Don’t like ostrich or it’s hard to find? No sweat. Try searing up a perfect tuna steak a la inglesa and slice it down like sashimi instead. Vegan? Add some greens and listo.

I pair this recipe with one of my favorite Carmenere blends from Emiliana Orgánico called Novas. Here, just the right amount of Cabernet Sauvignon is added to give the wine structure (think muscle tone), yet it’s still feminine with some curves–fleshy, round, yet powerful. Think about the grace and strength of a Cirque du Soleil performer and that’s this wine. It will pair well with everything on your Thanksgiving table.

Enjoy and Happy Turkey Day to everyone. I won’t be cooking, nor partaking, this year as we’re headed for some R&R at Estancia El Colibri in Cordoba, Argentina (horse & food paradise, two of my favorite things). One request…would you guys please have some extra corn pudding for me? Always love that dish. Actually, now that I think of it, when I get back, maybe I’ll just do my own Thanksgiving just of side dishes.

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