Christmas and New Year’s Eve at Osteria di Brolio

As they say (and sing) in Anglo-Saxon countries “it’s that time of year again!” And although the 2022 Brolio autumn was warmer and drier than average, it is hard to believe that Christmas and New Year holidays are just around the corner: we can find Christmas lights decorating our streets, traditional foods in the stores, while family, friends, and colleagues gatherings are being prepared.

Franco Sangiacomo, Executive Chef at Osteria di Brolio, has created two fascinating menus for Christmas lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner that can be exquisitely paired with Brolio wines. For those who will not have the opportunity to taste them in person, this year, Sangiacomo is giving us the recipes for two extraordinary main courses created for each occasion.

Building on his experience in the United States, Sangiacomo suggests a “Pulled Pork” recipe for Christmas. This is a delicious main course from North Carolina made of hog shoulder meat, which, according to the traditional recipe, is both abundantly flavored and served filleted, either cooked or raw, often on a sandwich, and accompanied with different sauces, vegetables, and seasonings.

My “Chiantigiana” take on the “Pulled Pork” – explains Sangiacomo – calls for a marinade in typical Tuscan and Mediterranean herbs and aromas such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay. It is cooked scrupulously slowly in the oven and I chose horseradish and chard as accompaniments.” Osteria di Brolio suggests the Chianti Classico Riserva Brolio, a soft warm wine with an aftertaste of cherry and spices as the perfect pairing for this dish.

For the New Year’s Eve dinner there will be no shortage of auspicious foods and dishes: lentils at the beginning and grapes at the end of the meal. But the highlight of the meal is an extraordinary main course starring the monkfish, a delicate Mediterranean fish, adorned with precious ingredients such as truffle sauce and caviar. In the “Sangiacomo version,” the fish is served in a luscious “porchetta” version where bacon is used both for the filling and to create delicious fish rolls. Is it perfectly paired with the elegant and velvety new version of the 2018 Merlot di Casalferro.