Seared Water Buffalo Tenderloin with Polenta Squares
Jeff Dill, winemaker and owner, produces this dark, distinctive red from a hearty hybrid that ripens early in our cold climate region. It carries a dense, dark cherry foundation with soft tannins making it an ideal pairing for the lean texture and subtle flavor of water buffalo tenderloin. Just as you won’t see a delicious DeChaunac like this at every Finger Lakes winery, you’ll see even less water buffalo on restaurant menus. Pair with JR Dill 2010 DeChaunac
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Farmer Ground cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 clove garlic sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup JR Dill 2010 DeChaunac
- 3 small tomatoes diced
- 1 1/2 pounds water buffalo tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- pepper ground, to taste
- Muranda blue cheese for garnish
- In a 4-quart sauce- pan on medium heat, add the butter, onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Increase the heat to high and add the water, parsley and salt.
- When the water begins to boil, sprinkle the cornmeal evenly over the water and whisk until it becomes a smooth, thick mixture. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Pour the mixture into an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan lined with plastic wrap and spread evenly with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.
- Once cool, cut the polenta into six equal pieces and place on a greased baking pan.
- Bake in 400-degree oven for 8–10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and keep warm for plating.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the oil and cook the onion, garlic and marjoram, stirring occasionally and adding the wine by the tablespoon so the onions don’t brown.
- Once the onions have softened, add the tomatoes and continue cooking until the sauce it thick and condensed with very little moisture. Set aside for plating.
- In a small cast iron skillet on medium high heat, sear all sides for 1–2 minutes until well browned.
- Continue cooking, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 120–125 degrees (medium rare). Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for five minutes.
- Place the polenta squares on plates, slice and divide the water buffalo tenderloin and stack the slices on the polenta. Top each with a spoonful of the sauce and garnish with small morsels of Muranda blue cheese.
See more from the 2014 Wine issue, including a recipe for oven-roasted haddock that goes well with a dry rosé.
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