Friday, July 08, 2005

Bring Back That Grillin' Feeling

As my more regular readers know, I've stayed away from the grill for a couple of weeks. But this past weekend, I was ready to get back into the game. I picked up a roughly 2-lb. piece of buffalo (American Bison) tri-tip from our local butcher the other day, and desperate for a new recipe, I came up with the following. In my mind, it wasn’t much of a recipe, but The Feared Redhead insisted I post it. It requires the use of a grill outside, AND a stove inside (or you can put the skillet on the grill).

buffalo (not Buffalo) Steak Sandwich

buffalo tri-tip roast, 2 lbs.
1 loaf ciabatta or other rustic bread
1 red onion
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
¼ cup blue cheese
2 yellow onions
1 head butter lettuce
dry rub
olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 bottle pale or amber ale

Apply dry rub to steak. One of these days, when I’ve codified it, I’ll provide my own rub recipe, but for now, any good grilling rub intended for beef will do. Place the meat on a grill heated to medium to high heat, turning every 5 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers the desired temperature. I prefer roughly 150 degrees F, or medium rare.

Buffalo is a tricky meat to cook. If done right, it’s tenderer than beef, but it’s also leaner, which means it’s easier to overcook. For steaks, 3-6 minutes a side is ideal. But when cooking meat of roast thickness, things get dicier. It’s possible to dry out the outer layer of meat before the inside is at the proper temperature. To prevent this, baste the roast with beer after each turn. When the meat is at the correct temperature, remove from the heat and let it rest.

Slice your bread into sandwich-sized lengths, then slice these down the middle. Rub each open side with olive oil, place on the grill for roughly 3 to 5 minutes, or until toasted.

Once the meat has rested for about 10-15 minutes, slice thinly across the grain. At this time, slice the tomatoes into round slices, about ¼ inch thick. Rinse the lettuce and break leaves off at the base. Do NOT cut the lettuce.

Slice your onion thinly. Crimini mushrooms (actually small versions of the portabella mushroom) should be sliced thicker, about ¼ inch in thickness. In a medium-sized skillet, heat the butter until it melts and begins to sizzle, but do not brown. Add your onion slices, sauté until clear. Add the mushrooms, continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, add blue cheese. Continue to cook until the blue cheese begins to melt, remove from heat.

Place several slices of buffalo onto the bottom halves of the bread. Spoon on the mushrooms, onions, and cheese. Plate open-faced, place the lettuce and tomato slices on the second half of each sandwich. Serve with Gourmet kettle-cooked potato chips, Salt and Vinegar is an excellent choice of flavor.

Oh, and if you happen to have an extra bottle of the beer you used to baste the meat, well, that's not so unlucky either.

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