seared buffalo steak, lemon, thyme; seared peppers, za’atar

While we’re not vegetarians, last night’s meal marked only our fourth meat entrée in over a month of dinners. This one, presenting local water buffalo steak, was a little out of the ordinary, and very, very tasty.

  • two 9-ounce water buffalo rib eye steaks from Riverine Ranch, rinsed and patted dry, seasoned generously with our local P.E. & D.D. Seafood sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, allowed to reach room temperature (I left it for more than 45 minutes, but it could actually sit for an hour or two with a sheet of waxed paper covering it), seared in a dry oval enameled cast iron pan over a medium flame, cooked 2 or 3 minutes on each side, to medium rare, the time always dependent on thickness [being careful not to overcook, or the steak would be tough, and noting that the color of this lean meat is much more of a red than beef, meaning a medium-rare buffalo steak, which is what I prepared here, would be the same shade of an almost rare beef steak], removed from the pan, arranged on the plates, drizzled with a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic California lemon (Sespe Creek Organics), sprinkled with chopped fresh thyme from Stokes Farm, drizzled with a little olive oil, covered very loosely and allowed to rest for a couple minutes before serving
  • a small amount of (semi-wild, or formerly feral?) red cress from Dave Harris’s Max Creek Hatchery drizzled only with a few drops of an excellent olive oil, Renieris Estate ‘Divina’ (Koroneiki varietal), Hania, Crete, from Chelsea Whole Foods Market

  • a large number of ‘lunchbox peppers’, a very sweet hybrid, or more likely several hybrids, from Campo Rosso Farm, among which Chris and Jessi had somehow been able to include some purple beauties, halved, the seeds and membranes removed (there were very few of either), sautéed in a little olive inside a large (13.25″), naturally-seasoned cast iron Lodge frying pan over an almost fully high flame until slightly caramelized, one sliced medium red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm added near the end, then adding some local sea salt and black pepper and stirring in some chopped za’atar [origanum syriacum] from TransGenerational Farm, the vegetables arranged on the plates, sprinkled with more of the super ‘oregano’ and drizzled with a few drops of balsamic vinegar
  • the wine was a Spanish (Priorat/Montsant) red, Franck Massard Garnacha 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Mendelssohn Edition, Vol. 2: String Symphonies And Concertos’, Andreas Staier conducting Concerto Koln (the composer was between 12 and 14 years old when he wrote these works)