In A Century of Restaurants (Andrews McMeel, October 2013) Rick Browne, host of Barbecue America on PBS, takes us on a coast to coast, U.S border to U.S border tour of 100 storied eateries that have stood the passage of time and even thrived, recipes included.
Here's a first helping for which we might have to trade Spring for Winter Vegetables.
Grand Union Buffalo Rib Eye with Spring Vegetables
Zinfandel -Truffle Sauce
1 tablespoon oil
Buffalo meat scraps (fat trimmed from the steak)
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups zinfandel wine
½ cup veal or rich chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cups water
¼ cup kamut berries (see Note)
1 (10-ounce) buffalo rib-eye steak, trimmed of excess fat
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
5 small morel mushrooms
5 wild ramps (see Note)
4 baby squash, preferably with blossoms
6 fiddleheads (see Note)
3 whole cloves black garlic, plus
1 minced black garlic clove (see Note)
1 shallot, minced
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
3 to 4 chive blossoms
Pinches of Maldon salt, for garnish (see Note)
For the sauce:
In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the buffalo scraps until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the scraps to a plate. Add the carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cover the pan with a piece of aluminum foil, then the lid of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by three-quarters. Add the broth and cook to reduce by half. Add the thyme, remove from the heat, and let steep for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season with kosher salt to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the kamut berries, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until tender, 45 minutes or so.
Add more water if necessary to keep the berries from burning. Drain and spread the berries on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan and cook the steak for 5 minutes on one side. Turn the steak over and cook for 2 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of the butter, 2 sprigs of the thyme, and 1 sprig of the rosemary. Turn the heat off and baste the steak with the butter for 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer the steak to a wire rack on a plate; tent with aluminum foil.
In a medium skillet, melt 1 more tablespoon of the butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the morels, ramps, squash, and fiddleheads and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the whole black garlic cloves and half of the minced shallot and cook for another minute. Add ¼ up of the chicken broth, the 3 remaining sprigs of thyme, and the remaining sprig of rosemary; cook for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To finish the kamut berries, bring the remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the shallot, the minced garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and the kamut. Toss until heated through.
Spoon the kamut onto a warmed serving plate and garnish with the chives. Spoon the vegetables around the kamut. Place the buffalo steak on top of the berries (either in slices or whole). Drizzle the Zinfandel-Truffle Sauce over the plate. Sprinkle with the chive flowers and pinches of Maldon salt. Serve at once.
NOTE: Kamut is an ancient relative of wheat available in many natural foods stores. The berries, or whole grains, are large and chewy when cooked. Wild ramps, also known as wild leeks, come into season early in the spring and are available at many farmers’ markets. Black garlic is a sweet and savory Korean specialty created through a month-long fermentation process; it is available online and can also be made at home. Fiddleheads are the young fronds of the ostrich fern, available in spring at farmers’ markets and specialty grocers. Maldon salt is a flaky sea salt produced in Maldon, England, and found at specialty foods stores.
(* Reproduced with permission from A Century of Restaurants by Rick Browne- published by Andrews McMeel, October 2013)