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Recipe of the Month - March 2009

Korean-marinaded steak cooked over vineshoots

In vineyards throughout the northern hemisphere, as we move out of winter and into spring, the vines start to awake from their dormancy as warmer temperatures allow the sap to begin to rise. The winter pruning, done in the coldest months of the year, should have been completed and by March the vineyards are neat and tidy, ready to come to life again.

While the growing seasons in Italy do not exactly mirror those here in Devon, nonetheless Mario Fontana in the Barolo wine hills, and Geoff here in the Pebblebed Vineyard in Ebford, share the annual excitement as the prospects of a new season, another vintage, literally unfolds like the new and fresh leaves that will soon burst forth from the buds.

Each March, Geoff celebrates this annual rebirth of the land with a get-together of friends to enjoy an outdoor vineyard lunch of steaks grilled over a fire made from the pruned vineshoots. This is food to enjoy standing up, the steaks, rare and bloody, slapped between slices of bread, to eat with the hands, washed down with a glass or two of Pebblebed rosé or Mario’s deliciously punchy and vivid Dolcetto d’Alba.

Ask Tony at Arthur’s or Barry at Gerald David’s for the thicker end of skirt steak. This inexpensive cut is just perfect for such a simple meal. Score the meat, soak in this pungent, Korean-inspired marinade of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and spring onions, then fire-cook over vineshoots, charcoal, or under the hottest grill.

(Serves 4)

1 kg skirt or flank steak


3-4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
2-3 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
About half a cup of light soy sauce
About a quarter cup of water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
Bunch of spring onions, shredded or chopped
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2-3 tbsp toasted sesame seed

Score the meat in a diamond pattern, then add to the marinade and leave for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.

Make a charcoal fire, and when it is really hot, lay some vineshoots over the hot coals. Grill the steak for just about 2-3 minutes a side, depending on thickness and how rare you like your steak. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add a little water to the remaining marinade then bring to the boil. Slice the steak across the grain on the slant. Pile the meat into sliced baguettes then spoon over a little of the sauce. Or else serve with brown short grain rice and a green salad.

Wine: Cascina Fontana Dolcetto d’Alba 2006

This recipe will be on the menu at The Globe throughout March, served together with Cascina Fontana Dolcetto d’Alba 2006.


Copyright Marc Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved
Images copyright Kim Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved

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