Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

The crust on the perfectly roasted, rare tenderloin tasted familiar. It was tangy and barely sweet with the scent of wine, but I couldn’t place it. The meat, served with sweet, melt-in-your-mouth peppers and onions, melded perfectly. The crisp-edged olive oil scented potatoes kept the barely sweet edge of the rest of the meal in check. I was visiting Quinto de Noval in the Douro Valley of Portugal. The time-worn woman who prepared it had been cooking at Quinto de Noval for many years. When I asked her how she made the beef she replied that she used the leftover port from tastings to marinate the meat so as not to waste it. In this version, the tri-tip has taken the place of the tenderloin and it fills in nicely when grilled, developing a nice smoky crust.

I often forget how delicious meat is when marinated in wine. Thinking back on this trip I thought this recipe would make a beautiful match with our POV. POV plays nicely with sweet pepper, bay leaves and cinnamon. This recipe always rekindles the gustatory memory of a beautifully marinated piece of meat kissed with smoke from the grill.

Until the Next Wine…

EAT: Grilled Tri-tip in Port Wine with Sweet Peppers, Onions and Olive Oil Crisped Potatoes