My favorite coffee shop is Chuck's Place, located at the corner of B Avenue and Second Street in downtown Lake Oswego.
Every cup of coffee comes with a heaping helping of lively conversation with owner Chuck Shaw Ryan, especially on Thursday mornings when the paper is fresh off the press. Chuck had knee surgery a few weeks ago, so he has been missing in action while he rehabilitates. I've missed his cheerful face and banter, so I was delighted to get a text message from him last Thursday chiding me for sharing the "chickpea open-faced ancient sandwich" last week instead of a brisket sandwich. Chuck, you are right. There is no substitute for a hearty barbecue brisket sandwich, particularly in summer.
And to go with all that beefy goodness, you know you need a nice Willamette Valley pinot noir.
This week I had the opportunity to catch up with my friend Page Knudsen Cowles, managing partner of Knudsen Vineyards, at the vineyard in Dundee last week. Page was in town for the International Pinot Noir Conference at Linfield, and took the opportunity to host a summer lunch in the vineyard for a few of her media friends. We toured the vineyard, so we could identify the blocks from which the wines came.
In the vineyard, Page poured Argyle Winery 2012 Knudsen Vineyard Julia Lee's Block Blanc de Blanc. Then with the salad of greens, local berries, feta and pistachios with a balsamic vinaigrette, she poured Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay and 2015 Chardonnay. The entrée was herb and Dijon roasted chicken with Parmesan and mushroom bread pudding, paired with Knudsen Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir and Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve. Dessert was a delightful Marionberry cobbler with cardamom whipped cream.
There is a lot of great history to be learned from the Knudsen Vineyard. Page and her brothers, Cal, Colin and David inherited the vineyard from their father, Cal Knudsen. Page said the family visits to the vineyard while they were growing up developed their love of life and family, and the kids learned to embrace the values of hard work, laughter and life-long curiosity. Over time she says they have come to understand the power and grace of wine and its ability to help us connect through conversation, celebration and the formation of enduring relationships. The relationships are key, and I value my friendship with Page and her family. You can learn more about Knudsen Vineyards and order wine online at knudsenvineyards.com. The vineyard is open by appointment only.
I made some new friends at Hawks View Cellars last week, too. Hawks View was founded by the late Jack Kemp, his wife Willie and their son A.J. in 2007, and has produced award-winning pinot gris and pinot noir from their sustainably farmed vineyards in Sherwood. The property is considered a hidden gem; it is located a hop and skip from Beaverton in the Chehalem Mountains and the tasting room, patio and lawn have been a gathering place for locals to gather, connect and celebrate. The Kemp family sold the property to Ponte Family Estate, a Temecula, Calif.-based family-owned winery in late June 2017, and I was invited to visit and meet the new winemaker.
The Ponte family hired veteran Oregon winemaker Donald Crank as head winemaker. He has been making wines in the Willamette Valley since 2001, and has worked with Willamette Valley Vineyards and A to Z Wineworks, among others. We had a grand time swapping stories of the pioneers of the industry and immediately recognized in each other a kindred spirit as a lover of Oregonian wines.
Don said the winery is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, and over the next couple of years, improvements will be made to the facility. The tasting room hours have been extended to 7 p.m. each evening, allowing guests to come after work to enjoy a glass of wine. Special events will be part of the offerings, including a special event on Aug. 21 to view the total solar eclipse. Learn more online at hawksviewcellars.com or call 503-625-1591. Hawks View Cellars is located at 20210 S.W. Conzelmann Road in Sherwood.
It's all about relationships, friends. Good food and beverages are made even better when shared with family and friends.
At the prompting of my friend Chuck, you get two brisket recipes this week. The first is made with the traditional method, low and slow over a smoker. The second you can bake low and slow with ease in your oven. Whichever you choose, pair it with a nice pinot noir from my friends at Knudsen Vineyards or Hawks View Cellars, or from your favorite winery.
Bon appetit! Make eating an adventure!
Smoked Sangria Beef Brisket
Makes 6 to 8 servings
4 pounds beef brisket
1 cup zinfandel (or your favorite red wine)
¼ onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chilies, minced
3 tablespoons triple sec
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoons orange zest
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Place brisket in a large deep container. Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and pour over meat. Make sure all surfaces of the brisket are well coated. Cover dish with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. Remove brisket, but reserve marinade for later, store in refrigerator.
Prepare smoker. You will want the brisket to smoke for 5 to 7 hours at 220 F. Place brisket on smoker and cook until the internal temperature reaches 185 F. Remove brisket from smoker and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Let set for 30 minutes.
Place reserved marinade in saucepan and bring to a high simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low for another 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and serve sangria sauce over sliced brisket.
(Recipe from TheSpruce.com)
Fake Barbecued Brisket
The beauty of this recipe is that you cook it in the oven, rather than monitor a smoker for several hours. You still get the tender beef with great flavor.
4-5 pounds beef brisket
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1 to 1 ½ cups of your favorite barbecue sauce, such as Sweet Baby Ray's brand
Preheat oven to 250 F. In a small bowl, mix together all of the seasonings and set aside in a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan that has been lined with foil; place brisket fat side down on the foil.
Sprinkle the brisket with half of the seasoning mixture; flip it over and sprinkle the fat side with the rest of the seasoning.
Turn the oven temperature down to 200 F, and place the brisket in the oven.
Cook for 5 hours, basting with the pan juices every hour or so. When brisket is done remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, cut it against the grain, and then pull it into shreds. Place in a bowl, and stir in the barbecue sauce. Enjoy on buns or as it is.
(Recipe courtesy of Food.com)