The flavors of sofrito, a blend of peppers, onion, garlic and in this case cilantro, anoint flank steak for a decidedly Latin result. Fitting, then, to pair it with wines from South America.
Coarsely chop 1 onion, 1 green bell pepper and 1 red bell pepper. Add to a food processor along with 1 small bunch cilantro and 6 cloves garlic; chop finely. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; process until almost smooth. Score a 1-pound flank steak on both sides. Spread with 1 cup puree, working it into the meat. Marinate, 20 minutes. Grill or broil the steak over high heat with the puree still on it, about 7 minutes per side for rare. Slice thinly, against the grain. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe by Bill Daley
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Pairings by Michael Taylor, central region manager, Illinois, for Wilson Daniels, as told to Michael Austin:
2013 Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir, Patagonia, Argentina: From the family that created the famed Super Tuscan Sassicaia, this wine is made from high-altitude, cool-climate grapes, which help pump up the acidity. Flavors of fresh strawberry and cranberry make their way to the front of the palate but are quickly followed by more rustic mineral notes that will help enhance the flavor of the heavily herbed steak.
2012 Vina Cobos Bramare Malbec, Uco Valley, Argentina: In 2012, American winemaker Paul Hobbs began sourcing top-quality malbec from 50-year-old vines in Mendoza. His Bramare malbec is rich and ripe, with glass-filling aromas of violet and currant. Flavors of dark cherry, blueberry and cocoa nibs are backed by the sort of creamy and intense oak treatment that befits a well-made Hobbs wine. Grilled meat never had it so good.
2012 Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Rapel Valley, Chile: South American wine regions are so hot that even the French have set up shop. The Marnier-Lapostolle family of Grand Marnier fame produces this wine, a rich and powerful blend of carmenere, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Starting with black cherry, plums and dried fig, it moves into secondary flavors of smoked herbs, clove and black pepper, a perfect complement to the Latin ingredients in this dish.