Douro Lunch

Up in the Douro yesterday to visit Mateus Nicolau de Almeida in Meda and Foz Côa.  But first things first:  lunch!

Mirandesa beef – a variety from Miranda do Douro in the northeast of the region, on the border with Spain – incredibly flavourful and tender, some of the best beef you will ever have.

Bashed potatoes – boil your potatoes till only about half done – then drain off all the water, let them dry a moment.  In a skillet with lashings of Douro olive oil, sauté the potatoes, giving them a good bashing down, so they are flattened like this…

Grelos – turnip greens, sautéed or braised – slightly bitter earthy flavour.

Quinta dos Romanos Reserva Douro DOC Vinho Tinto 2006 – one of the wines Mateus makes for Lucinda Todo Bom, a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Souzão.  Beautiful deep ruby red with pink-violet rim, black and red berries and maybe violet on the nose, a very smooth well-integrated wine, with the depth and slight earthy note of the Souzão giving an extra dimension to the TN-TF blend.  Highly recommended.  For another opinion, in Portuguese, take a look at this review of the 2004 in the blog Pingas no Copo.

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About Cynthia

Free lance wine writer based in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
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8 Responses to Douro Lunch

  1. I need to hang out with you. Good food, wine, and people…that’s my kind of life.

  2. timethief says:

    Wow! That looks delicious. Wish I were there with you. :)
    P.S. What was the dessert?

    • Cynthia says:

      Hi Timethief! You are welcome any time! It is beautiful part of the world, I am sure you would enjoy it. No dessert – we wanted to visit a winery and vineyards before dark. But typical in Portugal would be a plate of fresh cut fruit like melon, pineapple, kiwi, mango… or some kind of great creamy dessert – they make something like a crème brulée called “cream in heaven” which is exactly that!

  3. Jean says:

    I think the Portuguese would enjoy Albertan bison. There’s enough of it offered fresh here in the city where I live. The higher grade of Canadian beef comes from Alberta. Since moving here, I’ve never seen so much red meat in grocery stores at lower prices compared to other parts of Canada.

    http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/roaming-around-for-bison-distinctly-north-american-lean-and-maybe-gourmet/ Are Portuguese more meat eaters at this time?

    • Cynthia says:

      Hi Jean! I dimly recall being told that someone is raising buffalo in the Ribatejo – the plains around the Tejo River, north and east of Lisbon. I am not having any luck on search engines, will need more time to research and fully recall the allusion.

      In Portugal, above all, pork and fish are the most popular and least expensive, and are excellent but I recently had a leg of lamb which was out of this world and prepared by the butcher very differently from how I have had it in USA or England – but forgot to take photos! Must have again! There is much more food writing to come, I promise.

      To my readers – do check out Jean’s link and blog generally, it’s always an excellent read.

  4. Anna O says:

    Oh.Mm. These local breed beef (and pork and mutton for that matter), when eaten in the area, are nearly always splendid. And batatas-ao-murro and grelos, couldn’t be better.

    But you really should have had dessert. Leite creme queimado would have been wonderful, especially if made with the likewise local milk – these breeds have a much higher fat content in their milk than the Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle that give our daily supermarket milk.

    Here’s a hint of that, on a beautiful blog I just found.

    • Cynthia says:

      Hi Anna. Yes, I adore leite creme queimado (a type of creme brulée for those unfamiliar), especially with 20 YO Tawny Port, but we wanted to get out to Mateus’s vineyards before sundown!

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