“Fancy a steak with red #Wine...?” is an invitation often heard among friends. In the past, this idea would havealways led to a dinner in a crowded steakhouse, starring a blood-dripping rib eye, fries and bottles of Chianti. Nowadays, chance is that the supper will be staged at a Japanese restaurant, featuring another superstar: a lean, meaty tuna steak, “in partnership with a red such as a Syrah or Barbera” suggests Fiona Beckett, an award-winning author of more than 20 books on #Food and wine.
However, sometimes part of the company longs for beef, while the other friends yearn for a fish-based dinner. What to do in this critical circumstance?
A Genoa-born food entrepreneur, Roberto Costa, has recently found the diplomatic solution to make everybody in the group satisfied. His 2nd London restaurant, Macellaio Roberto Costa, based in Exmouth Market, offers a two-track menu: half menu focuses on Fassone beef recipes, ranging from an Italian-style beef tartare with spicy gorgonzola and Modena balsamic vinegar, flamed at the table, to a grilled Fassone rump steak served with Toscano extra-vergine olive oil and rock salt. The right side of the menu proposes various bluefin tuna-based dishes, from homemade bluefin tuna in Ligurian olive oil to the one week dry aged bluefin sirloin steak, among others.
“The connections between Fassone beef and bluefin tuna are multiple: for instance, bluefin tuna is one of the few warm blooded fishes on earth and is butchered in four quarts like beef; and both pair well with Italian red wines, such as Chianti or Dolcetto D’Alba” says Roberto.
Fassone, or Razza Piemontese, is a breed of cattle used in Piedmont to provide exquisite meat and whose milk delivers well-known cheeses such as Castelmagno, Bra and Raschera. Mostly produced in the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Turin, Fassone is well-known for the low-fat content: “0.5-1% against 3% of other major bovine breeds” tells Albino Pistone, president of Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Bovini di Razza PIemontese (ANAPORABI), the association of local beef producers. “Due to the low cholesterol, it is leaner than many white meats and with an even lower fat-content than many qualities of fish”.
Bluefin are the largest tuna and can live up to over 40 years. There are three species: Atlantic, Pacific and Southern. Most catches of the Atlantic bluefin tuna are taken from the Mediterranean Sea, the most important bluefin tuna fishery in the world. “I would like to point out that fishing of bluefin tuna is now much more regulated than in the past and there is no risk of extinction for bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean sea; actually, the current population is back to the numbers of the Seventies” says Roberto Costa.
Choosing the right wine to pair with bluefin recipes is not a simple task: “In order to ease the choice of the perfect wine, I have paired the cooking time of the meats with intensity, texture and body weight of the wines” explains Roberto, who is about to open another restaurant in Union Street, whose ambience will recall a theatre stage. “The longer is the grilling, the more aged and important the wine. The shorter the time, the lighter is the wine”.
So, If you prefer a medium-rare steak, you should choose Negramaro or Barbera; if, instead, medium-well cooking suits you more, Chianti Classico will be the right choice...! #Libiamo!