I haven't written in a while, mostly because I have a nasty rant about stupid drivers that I'm working up the energy to write.
In the meantime, I'll share that we had a seriously yummy dinner tonight. Perhaps I'm just a food hedonist (okay, guilty as charged), but this was definitely a top notch affair.
While I worked on dinner, the better half sliced some cheese to have with a bit of wine. The cheese was a Basque sheep's cheese called "Istara". We paired that with the wine of the evening, the 1997 St. Supéry red meritage. (Yes, we're members of their wine club, which is why St. Supéry features so frequently in these entries.) This was an ideal pairing, as the cheese is a bit sharp and pungent, with a salty edge, while the wine is silky smooth, with hints of heavy fruit and oak, combined with a bit of spice.
While we feasted on the cheese, I sliced some golden beets, and rubbed them with some olive oil and salt and pepper. I also split some cipollini onions and brushed them with some more olive oil. Once the grill was hot, I started the vegetables over a medium fire.
As a side note, I don't think I've mentioned my views on grills. Gas is for inside cooking. Real outdoor grilling is done over fire. It really is that simple. I recently upgraded grills. I'm mostly happy with the new one, although there's a bit of a learning curve.
While the vegetables cooked (and taking care not to burn the beets too much, although it's impossible to not carmelize something with that much sugar), I sautéed some mushrooms (a combination of button and more interesting varieties) in a bit of oil and butter, and added a dash of wine for extra flavor.
Finally, once the veggies were done, it was time for the main course. It wouldn't be incorrect to describe these cuts of meat as New York strips, except that would imply the wrong species. These were strip steaks from another part of that state: Buffalo.
Seriously, folks, bison is like beef, but better. This is the first time I've grilled my own bison steaks - I've always cooked burgers before. I read that it's important to trim the fat off of buffalo before cooking, which seemed odd. I didn't, but it turns out there's a good reason for that suggestion. For future reference, the fat turns extremely tough after grilling, which makes steak disassembly a bit more of a challenge. It's still delicious, though. Be careful if you go for doing this yourself, since bison isn't as fatty as beef, and you could easily dry the meat out.
The steaks were rich and flavorful, with noticeably less fat than well marbled beef, but with much more intense flavor. This worked well with the sweetness of the veggies, the slightly earthy scent of the mushrooms, and the rich and fruity wine.
This was a feast entirely suited to a food hedonist's dream. Yum!