Wine Mondays

by Frank McClelland and Christie Matheson


Wine Mondays has a simple premise: Simple wine pairings with seasonal menus, but it offers much more than that. The recipes are wonderful, time-tested classics from Boston's renowned L'Espalier restaurant, but given the pedigree of the chef, and author, that should come as no surprise.

The lovely tips on pairing food and wines, and brief yet informative, to-the-point wine notes help to flesh out the wine pairings that are suggested with each dish. While each dish has its own pairing, each recipe is included in a four-course menu. The flow from dish to dish, and wine to wine, is engaging and intelligent, allowing for one of the wines to carry you through the entire meal, just in case you don't feel like opening four wines for dinner! Take a look at the pair of recipes we're featuring this week and then give the book a look. If you love food and wine, and who doesn't, it'll be worth it.

About the Authors

Frank McClelland, the James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Northeast 2007, has been the proprietor of L’Espalier in Boston, Massachusetts, for 20 years.  In 2000, with L’Espalier firmly established as one of the country’s most highly regarded restaurants, McClelland opened a second restaurant with fellow chef and business partner Geoff Gardner. Sel de la Terre, featuring cuisine inspired by the culinary traditions of Provence, France, soon joined L’Espalier as one of the nation’s top-ranked restaurants.

Christie Matheson is the author of Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style and the coauthor of Wine Mondays. She is a regular contributor to publications including The Boston Globe MagazineCooking Light, BostonYankeeBody + Soul, Yoga JournalContinentalSan Francisco, and

Buy Wine Mondays: Simple Wine Pairings with Seasonal Menus

Two Great Food and Wine Pairings

From: Wine Mondays by Frank McClelland and Christie Matheson

Walnut-Encrusted Spring Lamb with Bacon-Potato Rösti

served with 2003 Grant Burge, “Miamba,” Shiraz, Australia

Full, rich, and spicy, this is a classic Australian red wine. Shiraz and lamb is an excellent combination. You could try a Shiraz from South Africa or a California Syrah, too.

Click here to download a printable PDF file of this recipe.

This has been a L’Espalier staple for decades. The nuttiness and sweetness of the crust enhances the richness and sweetness of the spring lamb. The rösti lends crispness to this dish and creates a platform to absorb the sweet juices from the lamb. To add a green element to this course, serve it with spring spinach.

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 racks of lamb (about 18 ounces total)
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to season lamb
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup breadcrumbs 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season lamb1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Make a marinade by combining the balsamic vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme, and the dried rosemary. Place the lamb in a bowl and smear the marinade all over the meat. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions, brown sugar, and salt and stir. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

3. Uncover and add the chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, mint, walnuts, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sherry vinegar. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree in a food processor until smooth. If the mixture crumbles, add more olive oil. (You want to be able to apply the mixture to the lamb with an offset spatula.)

4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

5. Remove the lamb from the marinade. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Wipe out the sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the lamb to the pan and brown it deeply on all sides, about 4 minutes total. 6. Place the lamb on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Use an offset spatula to cover the lamb completely with the walnut-herb mixture. Roast for about 12 minutes for medium- rare (about 135ºF on an instant-read thermometer). Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with Bacon-Potato Rösti (recipe follows).

Toasting Nuts

Toasting nuts brings out their best flavor. To toast them lightly, spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes in a 400ºF oven. For more intense toasted flavor, bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Bacon-Potato Rösti

3 Idaho potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled 2 slices bacon, finely diced
1 tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1. Grate the potatoes, using the large holes of a grater, into a large bowl. Let stand for 4 minutes. Lift the potatoes and squeeze out and discard the excess liquid. Return the potatoes to the bowl and stir in the bacon. Mix in the salt, garlic, onion, and pepper. 2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet and, when it starts to pop, evenly distribute the potato-bacon mixture in the skillet. Let cook until the potato cake becomes golden brown and begins to detach from the pan.

4. Distribute the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits, on top of the potato cake. Flip the cake and place the skillet in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the rösti from the skillet and slide it onto a cutting board. Cut it into 6 wedges and serve with the lamb.

Please visit the next page for the second recipe.

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Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: sallyzara
    384180 3

    This book looks great. All of the recipes capture my interest. Having the wine pairing guide is really helpful as it's always the biggest question I have when creating a menu - what wines to serve in order to bring out the ultimate flavor in the food and to best enjoy wines with the meal.


    Feb 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM

  • Snooth User: kheiligh
    Hand of Snooth
    32463 47

    BTW, the link is broken to the pdf... it needs the ".pdf" on the end, and then it works.

    Feb 19, 2010 at 4:47 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks for letting me know. I have fixed it!

    Feb 19, 2010 at 6:03 PM

  • Snooth User: BrBilly2
    356155 1

    I'm new to cooking; how many people does this serve?

    Feb 19, 2010 at 9:17 PM

  • This should serve four people.

    Feb 19, 2010 at 9:33 PM

  • Just when I think I am on to something, you find someone to trump me! I have been working on a similar Lamb & walnut encrusted recipe to pair with a "96 Cos D'Estournel which will be offered from a rare Melchoir format! Great Minds think alike!Cheers

    Feb 20, 2010 at 2:39 AM

  • Sorry, did not finish my thought! Riverstone Chophouse 2nd anniversary on March the 6th! Check out the facebook page!

    Feb 20, 2010 at 2:43 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    These were a nice looking pair of recipes. Anyone try them out this weekend?

    Feb 22, 2010 at 7:23 PM

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