I had stopped by Brian Foley’s Riverine Ranch stand in the Union Square Greenmarket for another reason entirely, but then we became engaged in conversation about his animals, and before I knew it I was walking away with a very special steak.
It was from a four-year-old animal (old in the world of bovids slaughtered for meat consumption, where 18 to 24 months is the norm). This meant that it was going to be less tender than most steaks, but the flavor could be expected to be much richer. That was exactly our experience. Since neither of us places ‘tenderness’ at the top of our beef checklist, I wasn’t surprised that we were so delighted with the meat.
Apparently Brian had already suspected that I was somewhat adventurous about food, would appreciate the virtues of this offering, and could figure out how to cook it well when he pulled it out to show to me. Also, when I asked the cost, he offered it at a very good price, even though I think he already knew I was going to buy it.
A wonderful steak.
- one 14-ounce sirloin water buffalo steak from Riverine Ranch from a 4-yr-old steer, rinsed and patted dry, then arranged on a plate, drizzled on all sides with a little olive oil, seasoned generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, covered and let rest at room temperature for up to 2 hours before being placed inside an enameled cast iron oval pan already heated over a medium flame, cooked 3 or 4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, to medium rare [being careful not to overcook, or the steak would be tough, and noting that the color of this lean meat is a lot redder than beef, meaning a medium-rare buffalo steak would be the same shade of an almost rare beef steak], removed from the pan, cut in half crosswise, arranged on the plates, drizzled with a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon, sprinkled with chopped fresh thyme (including some whole flowers) from Stokes Farm, drizzled with a little olive oil, covered loosely and allowed to rest for a couple minutes before serving
- more than a handful of small, very sweet grape tomatoes from Kernan Farms in southern New Jersey, halved, tossed in olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a few drops of white balsamic vinegar, and a little chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge, arranged inside 2 small ceramic prep bowls placed on top of the dinner plates
- a mix of several varieties of mustard greens from Tamarack Hollow Farm, wilted in a little olive oil in one stem of spring garlic from Berried Treasures Farm, sliced, had been allowed to sweat a bit, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a California (Clarksburg) red, Sin Fronteres Tempranillo Clarksburg 2016, from Naked Wines
- the music was the album, ‘Marin Marais: Alcione Suites des Airs à joüer (1706)‘,
- Jordi Savall conducting Le Concert des Nations