We’re fortunate enough to have some lovely things written about our winery. Here is a sampling of the latest reviews.
South Coast Style: French Twist7 August 2014
Originally published in South Coast Style magazine. Story by Penelope Barker. Photography by Phillip Atkinson. View a PDF of the original article.
At Cupitt’s Vineyard Kitchen, Head Chef Russell Chin serves up delicious winter dishes founded on classic French cooking with a twist.
With its old sandstone buildings, lush views over Burrill Lake and stands of pencil pines, Cupitt’s Winery at Ulladulla is like a slice of Provence redirected to the South Coast. How appropriate then that Head Chef at Cupitt’s Vineyard Kitchen restaurant, Russell Chin, trained in the French tradition.
Originally from the UK, Russell’s career path covers Michelin starred restaurants in Berkshire and London to the esteemed Est Est Est in Melbourne and Tony Bilson’s Bistrode in Sydney, followed by Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook.
“My background is in traditional French food,” says Russell. “I love to cook with fresh, seasonal produce and we also do a lot of game here at Cupitt’s – something you don’t often see here. I don’t like to overcomplicate dishes, I’d rather showcase one ingredient. I like to put my own twist on things so the ingredients stand out and it’s not a mental challenge to identify everything on the plate!”
Cupitt’s Winery and Vineyard Kitchen, 58 Washburton Road, Milton/Ulladulla. Visit www. cupittwines.com.au for current menu, opening times and restaurant bookings. Cupitt’s will also be holding special events during the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival on the June long weekend, for more details visit www.shoalhavencoastwine.com.au.
Baby Leek, Fresh Pine and Slippery Jack Mushrooms and Blue Cheese with a Truffle Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts
- 2 dsp truffle salsa
- 1 tsp Chardonnay vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 100ml water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 baby leeks
- 150g mixed wild mushrooms (slippery jacks and pine)
- 30g blue cheese diced (eg Berrys Creek Tarwin Blue)
- 10g toasted hazelnuts
- 20ml vegetable oil
- 20g butter
Place mustard, vinegar and salsa in a mixing bowl, add a little salt and pepper and mix together. Add water and mix again, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.
Wash the baby leeks, place in a steamer and cook until tender. Keep warm. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and slice.
Pan fry the mushrooms in a hot pan with the vegetable oil and butter. Season to taste and place on a piece of kitchen paper to drain.
Slice each leek into 10 cylinders and place five on each plate. Place the warm mushrooms on plates and scatter with the hazelnuts and crumbled cheese. Finish off with the truffle dressing.
Pair this dish with Cupitt’s 2011 Woodlands Sauvignon.
Roasted Squab Pigeon, Celeriac Fondant, Globe Artichoke and a Cumberland Sauce
- 4 squab pigeons, trussed with wings, neck and wishbone removed and reserved
- 1 large celeriac, cut into 7cm discs about 1.5cm thick
- 1 bunch English spinach, washed
- 4 globe artichokes, peeled, trimmed and cooked in acidulated water, then the centre removed
- 2 sticks salsify, peeled and cut into batons and cooked in acidulated water
- 50 ml raspberry vinegar
- 200ml Shiraz
- 500 ml veal stock
- 500 ml chicken stock
- Juice of one orange
- Zest of one orange, blanched and refreshed in iced water
- Zest of one lemon, blanched and refreshed in iced water
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 250g butter
- 12 white peppercorns, crushed
- 4 eschallots, peeled and roughly diced
- 100 ml port
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 20 ml vegetable oil
First make the sauce by frying the pigeon wings and neck in a heavy-based pot until golden brown. Add diced eschalots and fry for two-three minutes. Deglaze the pan with Shiraz and vinegar, scraping the pan base. Reduce liquid by two-thirds then add peppercorn, veal and chicken stocks and redcurrant jelly. Bring to the boil, skim and turn down to a simmer then add thyme and bay leaf. Simmer gently for one hour.
Pass liquid through a fine sieve then return to pan and reduce to about 400 ml or until the sauce lightly coats the back of a spoon. Add the port and orange juice and simmer once again for one-two minutes. Remove from heat and add blanched zests.
Next, place the celeriac disks in a flat pan and just cover with cold water. Add a little salt and pepper and about 150g butter. Place on a high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and allow liquid to reduce down. Once the butter starts to turn the celeriac a golden brown on the underside turn over and add another 30g butter. Allow the celeriac to cook through gently, remove from heat and keep warm
In the mean time, season the squabs with salt, including the cavity seal, in a pan with the vegetable oil until golden brown. Add a knob of butter and place in a pre-heated oven at between 180 and 200 degrees Celcius for three minutes. Remove and baste with a spoon. Place back in the oven for two to three minutes more. Remove from oven, season with freshly ground white pepper and allow to rest for 8 minutes, breast side down.
While the pigeons are resting, sauté the spinach in butter and season. Drain and set aside. Saute the salsify sticks in oil and butter until golden, cut the artichokes into quarters and add to pan and warm through. Drain on kitchen paper.
Place a warm celeriac disk in the centre of each plate, top with spinach. Remove the legs and breast from the squabs and place on top of the spinach. Scatter the salsify and artichokes around and spoon the hot sauce over.
Pair this dish with Cupitt 2011 Pigeon House Pinot Noir.
Rum and Raisin Bread and Butter Pudding with Pistachio Crème Anglaise
Bread and Butter Pudding is a well-loved classic English recipe. Russell likes to soak the raisins in a little sugar syrup laced with rum. “At the restaurant we use brioche, but a good quality white bread would be equally good,” he says.
- 200g raisins
- 125g sugar
- 150ml water
- 100ml run
- 1 litre thickened cream
- 500 ml milk
- 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped out
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 300 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 10 egg yolks, plus 2 eggs
- 800g brioche or a good loaf of bread cut in 1⁄2 centimetre slices with crusts left on
- Butter for greasing
- Pure icing sugar for dusting
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add rum followed by raisins and leave to soak overnight or at least to infuse for two hours. When soaked fruit is ready, drain the remaining liquid.
Bring cream, milk, vanilla bean, cinnamon and zest to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, whisk caster sugar, egg yolks and two whole eggs in a bowl until pale. Add cream mixture and whisk to combine. Strain custard mix into a clean bowl.
Preheat oven to 150 C. Butter a 3.5 litre oven proof dish and dust with caster sugar. Arrange brioche in three layers, dispersing the raisins between layers and leaving the top layer only brioche. Strain over the cream mixture and stand for one hour to soak, allowing the liquid to absorb into the brioche. Dust with caster sugar and bake until the top is golden and the custard is set, about 50 minutes.
Pistachio Crème Anglaise
- 250 ml milk
- 250 ml thickened cream
- 50g sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 40g pistachio paste
Place milk, cream and pistachio paste in a saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick (mixture should have a light ribbon consistency). Pour the liquid onto the egg mixture and whisk continuously.
Pour mix back into saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly using a wooden spoon in a figure of eight movement until the mixture thickens and the bubbles disappear. Do not let it boil or it will curdle. The crème Anglaise is ready when the back of a spoon is lightly coated and you can draw a line across it. When it reaches 80 degrees Celsius immediately take the pan off the heat.
If you are using the crème Anglaise immediately, pour it through a fine sieve into a bowl and serve warm. If not, set over crushed ice and leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming.
(In the restaurant we use a Thermomix and place all the ingredients in the machine, blend quickly, then place on speed 4 for about 12 minutes until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.) Crème Anglaise can be refrigerated for several days.
Serve the Bread and Butter Pudding hot, dusted with icing sugar, with the pistachio crème Anglaise and vanilla ice-cream on the side. At the restaurant we like to served this pudding on Sundays, with poached mandarins, throughout the colder months.
Pair with Cupitt’s 2011 Late Harvest, a Chardonnay Sauvignon.