I have always been a red meat girl, even in high school, when everyone else seemed to be subsisting on frozen yogurt and Lender's bagels. I haven't often made myself a steak at home, however, preferring to leave that to the people who know how and thereby to avoid the whole dodgy, expensive meat-buying experience. Last weekend I finally bought steak at the Greenmarket, having lurked tentatively around the Elk Trails Bison Ranch stand for a few Saturdays. I wish I had done it sooner.
Elk Trails sells both bison and black angus beef. The beef is grass-fed--I hate to get all Greenmarket-sanctimonious, but it is comforting to think that when dinner mooed it was not eating, you know, reconstituted cow pellets. Being shy sorts, Andrew and I sidled up to the counter and quietly waited to be noticed before telling the nice lady that we wanted a pound of hanger steak. There wasn't quite enough, though, so the big bison boss butted in and recommended that we take a Western Sizzler. Thankful for the guidance (and, at least in my case, looking forward to eating something called "Western Sizzler"), we took it and nodded gravely as he urged us not to subject it to high heat. Grass-fed beef is less fatty than grain-fed, so high heat will dry it out faster than we suppose.
Since my cooktop still isn't working, we had to broil it. I thought it was a little tough--not disastrously so--but the taste was fantastic. A few weeks ago, we broiled some supermarket steaks; those seemed passable at the time, but they had nothing on this meat, which was much bigger tasting, no tougher, and, at $10 a pound, not much more expensive. I will definitely be back there and am already dreaming of a winter full of bison stews and steak dinners. With Greenmarket corn and tomatoes, drizzled with creme fraiche mixed with cumin and chili powder, sprinkled with chives, it was a Sunday night dinner that felt special despite being fast, easy, and cheap to put together.