14 November 2008

2004 Night Owl Merlot

The other night I invited my brother John over for dinner and the chance to spend a bit of time shooting the breeze, swapping tales, and unwinding at the end of the week. I had a couple of buffalo filet steaks marinating for a few hours in a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and Angostura bitters. I sliced up a few small blue potatoes and roasted them in butter and garlic, and prepped basic sides of mesclun mix and fresh berries. When John showed up, I threw the meat in the skillet and cooked it to a perfect medium rare. Anything longer and buffalo starts to get damned tough.

The yellowish blob on top of the steak is a daub of homemade aioli, best described as French garlic mayonnaise. I used olive oil, egg yolks, a lot of garlic, and cayenne pepper to make mine. It solidifies in the refrigerator, but when topped on a hot steak it slowly melts into a lovely sauce. It's a bit different from béarnaise, but definitely gets the job done, and the oil-based topping helps compensate for the fully lean buffalo meat.

For the wine we popped open a bottle of Delicato's now defunct 2004 Night Owl Merlot from Monterey, California. $10, 14.5% abv. Some blackberry and cedar notes, but mostly just a pretty basic California table Merlot. While the wine was not spectacular, the food and conversation were great, and frankly there's nothing wrong with the wine taking a backstage to everything else once in a while.

1 comment:

John said...

As I have said before, I am very lucky to have Ben as my brother. The last time we had buffalo together before this was on a backpacking trip in New Mexico in the form of buffalo tacos. I must say that the aioli, and my brothers skill in cooking these steaks gave them a strikingly good flavor. Thanks again for the dinner.