HOW TO: use up leftover red wine

Miss Thrifty9 October 6, 2010

This is my favourite recipe for using up leftover red wine. I know, I know… Right now you may be thinking, “Leftover red wine? Like THAT ever happens”. Well in my house, it happens. My husband doesn’t drink wine and I’m not a big boozer, so whenever a bottle is opened – usually because somebody has brought a bottle of red round, or given one as a present – there is a fair chance that it will pass its best and end up joining my special collection of half-filled bottles of plonk.

I never pour old wine away and I don’t worry about it turning into vinegar. Instead, I save it and cook with it. The leftover red wine is great in stews: I cook a great Spanish stew with white fish and red wine in the slow cooker. I’ll have to write it up sometime. The white goes into sauces and seafood dishes.

I do have a favourite recipe, howver, and I’ve copied it out below with some pictures. This is my amended version of an old Nigella Lawson recipe from her essential first tome, How To Eat. It is a pudding, and a very good one at that: quick, simple, cheap and delicious.

Here it is:

Figs Baked in Red Wine

1. Figs. You’ll want two figs per person. If you haven’t bought fresh figs before: they’re in the fruit & veg and they aren’t expensive. Cut each fig into quarters, but don’t cut all the way through (as shown above). Pop in them in a bowl, as above.

2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190°C.

old red wine

3. Wine. Add the red wine to a saucepan. With four figs you’ll want at least 200ml. Add 30g of butter.

cheap honey

4. Honey. Add 2-3 tablespoons to the saucepan.


5. Cardomum pods. Add a few to the saucepan. If you don’t have a jar of cardamum in the cupboard, chuck in a cinnamon stick instead. Heat the lot up until the butter melts and the honey dissolves into a sweet, silky sauce.

6. Bake in the oven, gas mark 5, for 15-20 minutes. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving. Done!

Nigella suggests serving it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, but I serve it with vanilla ice cream. It tastes yum – I hope you like it.

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9 Responses to “HOW TO: use up leftover red wine

daisychain says:

oh my goodness, that sounds amazing!

October 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

Mary says:

Great post – please, please, PLEASE post your slow cooker Spanish stew recipe!

October 7, 2010 at 9:55 am

Maddy says:

I fill ice cube bags with remainder of wine bottle and then just chuck a few cubes in as and when needed.

October 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm

missthrifty says:

@daisychain It is! I love it: partly because it is deliciously, but also because I am lazy and this is ridiculously quick and easy to make.

@Mary For you, anything… Next time I cook it up I’ll take some pics. Watch this space!

@Maddy You are MUCH more organised than me. 😉

October 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Andrea says:

Ok I will HAVE to try that… and I am sure it’s much better than my usual tactaic of “drink the whole bottle so none gets wasted.”

Thank you!

October 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

missthrifty says:

@Andrea Well, your usual tactic definitely works! I’ve never had a hangover from the fig dish though…

October 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

Money Saver says:

That’s interesting. My red wine always seems to get opened and sit there for months.

October 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm

cakelady says:

No need to use ice trays – just trip into freezer bags and you end up with a mixture like a slush puppy! It’s easy to take a spoonful out whenever you need. It works with red or white wine and I use up the half finished glasses of wine left after dinner parties as well – is that going too far?

October 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm

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