Cuzco

We’re in Cuzco (Cusco) and it’s the eighth day of our ramble along Peru’s famous Gringo Trail. To recap, our journey commenced in Lima before flying, via Cuzco, to Puerto Maldonado and 2 nights in Reserva Amazonica in the headwaters of the Amazon River. We then flew back to Cuzco and, leaving our heavy baggage in storage, were immediately swept…

late autumn in high sierra

Mammoth problems in the high Sierra

Two trips to the Sierra Nevadas fifteen years apart prove that the core message expressed in Split Enz’s refrain “history never repeats” is a load of crap. The Sierra last millenium One January, in the fag-end years of the last century, then-partner Michelle, and long-time mate Ding and I left the fleshpots of Las Vegas and set a course for San Francisco.…

Beaujolais Cru Wines

A few weeks ago I posted a Beaujolais day trip, exploring the 12 appellations (wine producing regions) making up the overall Beaujolais “brand”. Following is a brief summary and tasting notes, in alphabetical order, of the ten Beaujolais Cru (grand) appellations that I suggest that all lovers of wine should investigate. Despite their basis on the “humble” Gamay grape, these…

Oeufs en Meurette

Oeufs en Meurette (poached eggs in red wine sauce) Serves 4 A perfect brunch on a chilly Burgundian sunday. 8 x eggs 2 x shallots 100g bacon 450g fresh button mushrooms 750 ml very tannic red wine (Burgundy red or Barossa shiraz) 25o ml chicken stock 125g butter 8 slices of baguette (toasted whole or cut into croutons) 4 tablespoons…

Bouef a la ficelle

Bouef a la ficelle (beef on a string) Serves 4 Bouef a la ficelle is a deliciously simple and rustic dish of prime beef fillet and seasonal vegetables. It matches beautifully with a “baby” Burgundy (bourgogne rouge) or Cru Beaujolais. Use the best beef you can find; Charollaise in France or Cape Grim from Tasmania. 1 x 800g centre-cut beef…

Bouef Bourguignon

Bouef Bourguignon (Burgundy beef stew) Serves 4 – Commence preparation day before 800g beef cheeks or rump cut into 4cm cubes 120g bacon lardons 6 cloves garlic peeled and sliced 2 medium onions thinly sliced 5 carrots peeled and roughly chopped 20 baby (pickling) onions 20 button mushrooms – half whole and half sliced and stems removed 250ml beef stock…

Copping it sweet, mostly

Sometimes it takes a seemingly innocuous even to trigger the realisation that we’re all creatures of habit. And worse, sometimes to deviate from a routine can have detrimental consequences. Our routine, on returning from a trip, is simple. First, open the windows to allow airflow through the closed apartment. Next, unpack the bags, sorting laundry into colour groups and bung…

Beaujolais & penne Alfredo

My experience of Beaujolais wine was, for a long time, restricted to the cheap, fruity low-alcohol plonk in the floral-labelled bottle marketed by Georges Dubœuf. The stuff we naïvely labelled “Beaujo” and would lug to barbies and student pissups as a ‘sophisticated’ alternative to a sixpack of stubbies. Geez, those were the days. Over the years I focused my attention on the…

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