Cooking with Port – Show Dad How ImPORTant He is!

Cooking with Cockburn's Port & WoolworthsFather’s Day is fast approaching (first Sunday in September every year!). And to help inspire you, especially if the Dad you’re spoiling is a bit of a wino, I have some imPORTant tips for you!

This year to help celebrate Father’s Day, I have teamed up with Dan Murphy’s & Cockburn’s (pronounced co-burn’s) to try their 2011 Cockburn’s Late Bottle Vintage Port and also cook with it! I was supplied with a sample bottle, alongside a Woolies gift card to purchase all my ingredients. However I take full responsibility for how awesome my dishes were!
Cockburn's 2011 Late Bottle Vintage Port

My Dad is a big fan of Port, actually he’s just a big fan of wine in general. The apple obviously doesn’t fall far from the tree does it! Mr. Spittoon and I  were never real big fans of port or fortified wine (as it’s called if it doesn’t come from Portugal). That was until we visited Porto, the home of Port wine, in Portugal back when we were backpacking in 2011. Unfortunately we weren’t able to visit Cockburn’s but we definitely visited a number of other Port houses where we tasted and learnt a lot about what was in our glasses.

So before I get stuck into what I made and the port wine recipes, here are some quick facts on Port:

  • Port is a sweet, rich fortified wine from Portugal
  • Port can be red, white or rose
  • It should be served around 16 degrees
  • If kept in a cool, dark place after opening, you can keep it typically up to 28 days
  • Typically flavours include raspberries, blackberries, caramel, chocolate and baking spices
  • In terms of matching Port with food, it typically goes well with strong cheese (like blue cheese in particular and also strong cheddars), chocolate & desserts and sweet/smokey meats

Wine Folly has actually put together a great infographic on the different styles of Port wine which you can find at the end of this post.

So if you are thinking Port might make a great present (more Father’s Day ideas for wine-loving Dads here) for Dad, why not take it up a notch and cook him lunch or dinner with a Port inspired menu? I am sure you’ll earn a few extra brownie points!

Last night I made the Port & Stilton Pate and the Roast Lamb – which was OMG soooo good! I will definitely be making that recipe again for sure. Here are the recipes which were put together by Cockburn’s:

Port and Stilton Pate


55g butter or vegetarian margarine
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
60ml Cockburn’s Late Bottled Vintage Port
1/2 lemon, zest only
125g vegetarian Stilton, crumbled
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sweat the spring onions until soft; add the Cockburn’s Late Bottled Vintage Port, simmer gently for 3 minutes

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well

3. Transfer to a blender and process until the mixture has bound. Check the seasoning

4. Divide between individual ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with melba toast

This is obviously a vegetarian version of pate however it looks and has very similar consistency to your normal pate. Neither Mr. Spittoon nor I like normal pate (everyone is completely shocked whenever I say that), this was definitely more up our alley however to be honest I would have easily just ate the stilton on the melba toast and had the port on the side. The simple pleasures in life!
Port Wine & Stilton Pate

Roast Lamb with Port Wine


1 & 1/2 cups (375ml) Cockburn’s Port (the recipe called for the 10-year-old Tawny however the LBV 2011 was completely fine in it)
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
1?2 cup (140g) store-bought caramelised onion relish
2 heads garlic, halved
3 sprigs rosemary
1.5kg lamb shoulder, bone in, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and cracked black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 220°C

2. Place the port, tomatoes, caramelised onion, garlic and rosemary in a deep-sided large roasting pan and mix to combine. Place the lamb on top of the tomato mixture, drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and cook for 2 & 1/2 hours

3. Remove the foil, spoon the sauce over the lamb and cook for a further 10–15 minutes or until golden brown

I love how simple this recipe is as it was super easy to make and my oh my was it divine! From the cooking aromas to the falling-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth meat, it was heaven on a plate. We also had a wee glass of port with the meal and it went down super well. I was a bit lazy when it came to the veggies and simply made some crispy-ghee potatoes on the side. I can’t wait to make this recipe again.

Cockburn's Port & Roast Lamb Port Wine Roast Lamb

And lastly Cockburn’s also have a recipe for dessert which I haven’t yet made but it’s definitely on my list to try! Here it is for you guys:

Port & Prune Chocolate Torte


200g pitted prunes, roughly chopped (Place the prunes and port in a non-reactive bowl (e.g. glass, ceramic or stainless steel) and leave to soak overnight prior to making the recipe)
150ml Cockburn’s Fine Tawny Port
300g dark chocolate
180g ground almonds
6 free-range egg whites
200g caster sugar
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Fresh cherries or plums (halved), to garnish
Creme fraiche, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 180°C fanbake. Grease and line a 24-26cm springform cake tin.

2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in almonds and port soaked prunes.

3. Beat egg whites in a mixer until starting to stiffen. With mixer running, gradually add sugar and whisk until slightly shiny. Gently fold this meringue into chocolate mixture.

4. Spoon into tin and bake for around 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in tin.

5. Dust top with good-quality cocoa powder, garnish with cherries or plums and serve with creme fraiche.

Yum! What an absolute feast. If you’re keen to hunt out some of the 2011 LBV Cockburn’s Port, check out your local Dan Murphy’s – they are selling it for $30 per bottle.


Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

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