Friday, 7 December 2007

Buffalo Stance

I've been keeping this recipe a secret for some time. The reason is that it is the first recipe that I wrote for Tastes Of Britain which had to be submitted over a month back. And at long last, I've pleased to say that it has finally been released. And I'm even more pleased to release a simple and delicious meal using a meat that is rarely used in this country - buffalo.

During the summer, I was presenting at The Children's Food Festival and went on a rare wander around the festival site. And there, munching away in an enclosed area, were two of the cutest baby water buffalo. I had never seen one in the flesh before. And after seeing them close up, I certainly couldn't see them in an edible form. They looked like fantastic beasts. But as our very own Hugh FW said on television last week, us carnivores have a heavy price to pay for our love of meat.

Tracking down buffalo meat is the difficult part. The nearest I could fine were in Derbyshire, a brilliant farmshop called Farmhouse Pantry. In the U.K., we don't eat it much and it is not a commercially available meat. Quite why I do not know as it is sensational to eat. Similar in taste and texture to good beef, it is much lower in fat and cholesterol but not lacking any flavour. And in times when there has never been more discussion on the subject of health, that has to be a positive thing. Especially as the buffalo that are available in the country comes from good stock and are looked after with care and attention. Seek some out and make your own mind up with my warm salad of buffalo fillet, pumpkin and cobnuts.

Buffalo Steak, Roast Pumpkin and Cobnut Salad
Serves 4

1 pumpkin (with seeds removed and kept aside), skinned and cut into chunks
3 tbsp olive or extra virgin rapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
50g cob nuts or whole hazelnuts
2 buffalo fillet steaks, approximately 2” thick
Several handfuls of spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
A handful of fresh parsley leaves
2 balls of buffalo mozzarella

For the dressing
3 tbsp olive or extra virgin rapeseed oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp English or Dijon mustard

1 – Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200 °C.
2 – Put the pumpkin onto a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and combine with 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast on the top shelf for 30-40 minutes until starting to caramelise at the edges.
3 – Spread the cobnuts and pumpkin seeds out onto another baking tray, season with salt and pepper and combine with a tbsp of olive oil. Place onto the middle shelf and roast until golden. Watch carefully as the cobnuts will take no more than 10 minutes to roast.
4 – Season the buffalo fillets with salt and pepper. In a dry frying pan, sear the fillet on all sides until sealed. Place on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 5-6 minutes rare, 8-10 minutes medium or 12-15 minutes well done. Remove and rest for 5 minutes, then carve into thin slices.
5 – To dress the salad, place a few spinach and parsley leaves onto a plate, followed by a few chunks of pumpkin, a scattering of seeds and nuts, a few strips of buffalo meat and finally a few torn pieces of mozzarella. Repeat until the salad builds up, then drizzle on a little of the dressing.

12 comments:

Nicola said...

Lovely recipe, thank you David. For those readers in the South, Laverstoke Park sells buffalo meat, as well as buffalo milk.
http://www.laverstokeparkbutchersshop.co.uk/acatalog/Buffalo.html

They have a little farm shop on site, but I think they might also deliver.

David Hall said...

Thanks for the advice Nicola. If anybody else can spread the word about suppliers they know of, please leave a note.

thanks
David

Wendy said...

Parents of an old friend used to have a buffalo farm near Bath. Will try to find out if they still do!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Just gorgeous! I love buffalo, and the mustard in the dressing here is fantastic.

Pat said...

This sounds like a really lovely combination of ingredients. Will look for the mag at the shop today. Congrats David!!!

Anonymous said...

David

Very kind of you, to share this recipe instead of asking us to buy the magazine!! Hope the publishers don't mind too much!

David Hall said...

Anonymous

Thanks for your comment, but hopefully you would buy the magazine for much more reasons than my simple effort! The mag is stuffed full of superb articles and information as well as fab recipes from brilliant writers. Give it a go.

Thanks
David

Bellini Valli said...

Buffalo meat, although not common in Canada, is probably more readily available. When I lived in Alberta some enterprising souls starting raising "beefalo". The ground beefalo was very moist and delicious.

leosatter said...

Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!

David Hall said...

Hi leosatter

I think you must be based in America as I've never heard of them companies you mention. Just Googles them and they are US based, I'm in the UK, so I can only recommend what we have over here which isn't much use to you my friend! I personally don;t think there is any substitute for a trustworthy butcher for meat. Personally, I would never buy meat to be delivered to my door, as it is one of the foodstuffs I think it is is essential that you know where it came from and also that it comes from a trustworthy source.

I wish I knew the US better but I don't! Although my brother lives in Baltimore, maybe he might know? I will ask.

Good luck in your sourcing. next time you are in the UK I could certainly point you in the right direction!

Cheers
David

Alison said...

Hi David, I'm a Sunderland (ex-Roker Ave) lass - but now in Nth. Yorks & often visit the Farmers market in Northallerton (always the 4th Wednesday of the month - but this month's will be tomorrow Wed Dec 19th) where there is a stall selling whopping delicious cooked buffalo burgers for no money. They also sell various buffalo meats/sausages. The next time I'm there I'll get contact details from them, I'm pretty sure they are local to the Yorks area.

I visit S/Land regularly to see family & always make a trip to Whitburn. Our company had a petrol account with Latimers years ago & I remember well when young son Robbie first started out selling fish in the shack at the back of the garage, I tasted my first beautiful meaty line caught mussels from him, he used to drive to Scotland himself to collect them- the boy done good!

BTW, your blog just gets better, & I’m so pleased to hear about your upcoming book, & the recipe selections are a great idea - it's so easy to find your recipes now. Thankyou!

David Hall said...

Hi Alison

Thanks for your kind words, it means a lot. Funny, I used to live in Leeds and often visited the farmers markets where said buffalo man was there selling his burgers!

Robert is doing really well at Latimers now and has just won the BBC4 Food & Farming Awards for best retailer. Really proud of him. And Colmans chippy in Shields won best takeaway!

Glad you are enjoying the Blog, it spurs me on. I'll let you all know if and when the book is completed.

All the best
David x