A Memorable Birthday Feast with a fresh buffalo tenderloin.
Birthdays are one of those things we love to celebrate. We recently learned that it is one of the top reason for celebrating and the perfect time for a Memorable Meal. Most women I know manage to stretch out their birthdays for weeks…without actually acknowledging their age. The men, they don’t care so much about dragging it out, but they do like to be pampered. Here is how we celebrated my husband’s recent birthday. A lot of folks will go to an expensive steakhouse for a birthday dinner. Well, I knew we could do much better at home and have an amazing ‘steakhouse dinner’.
I started with a whole buffalo tenderloin. I know that may sound intimidating but it is a wonderful piece of meat to work with. First off my husband LOVES buffalo. I’ve noticed everyone we have served it to does as well. Most folks have only tried a buffalo burger. The buffalo tenderloin is truly a treat, tender and amazingly flavorful. For a large crowd I would roast the tenderloin whole and then carve. EASY. This time I wanted the steakhouse feel so I carved up buffalo filets. This is NOT hard. Buffalo is very lean and requires very little trimming. A quick removal of the side muscle – the chain (which I of course keep for another use like home ground buffalo sliders) and removing the ‘silver skin’. This is a very easy process and takes all of about ten minutes. ( instructional video coming soon on vivagourmet.com )
The average buffalo tenderloin from Viva Gourmet is 5-6 lbs. We were not having a large gathering so I carved up a platter full of 4-6 oz filets and wrapped the rest of the tenderloin for another time . Since the buffalo tenderloin Viva Gourmet carries arrives fresh I don’t mind freezing part for another time since I know this will be the first time it is frozen. Fresh is always the best- but of course meat does freeze well as long as you are in charge of the freezing! Buffalo meat is extremely lean yet very flavorful and quite rich. I simply started cutting from the small end of the tenderloin. The first few are smaller and get larger as you work your way through. It works out perfect having steaks of different sizes as the ladies often want a smaller portion than the men.
Tip- let the steaks sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before grilling ( or pan searing) for more even cooking.
Meanwhile, I prepared Steakhouse creamed spinach – Viva Gourmet style.
I told you this was going to be better than the steakhouse. I chopped up fresh “power greens”; kale, chard, spinach and beet greens; sautéed them and added manchego and havarti cheeses, heavy cream and TRUFFLE SAUCE. Oh yeah! Click here to go to the recipe. I also put some sweet potatoes and beets in the oven to roast. Next, I started some baby brussels sprouts braising on the stove top.
My husband loves to man the grill and he did a fine job with these buffalo tenderloin filets. The key being a quick HOT sear, then finish on the cooler side of the grill. ( We have an infrared sear section on our grill which makes this a snap) After the quick sear he takes them off for a minute or two to let them ‘rest’ and then gives them a quick one minute per side finish on the ‘regular’ side of the grill at 400 degrees. Because buffalo is such a lean meat, take care to not overcook! It is best at rare to medium rare, beyond that and it can quickly lose its tender qualities.
Everything came together just perfect. I drizzled J Le Blanc hazelnut oil on the sweet potato planks, tossed the brussels sprouts with Blis Maple Syrup (aged in bourbon casks) and a drizzle of O Blood Orange Olive Oil went on the beets. I put it all on a big platter for a colorful and festive presentation. After a celebratory toast to the ‘birthday boy’ and blessing, our guests all dug in. We were at home with good friends, our favorite music playing and some really wonderful wine. No driving through traffic to a restaurant, no waiting in line, no flagging down the server, no overpriced wine. Just a very memorable meal and a special birthday!