Seared Bison Strip Loin with Juniper and Fennel
- ACTIVE: 15 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 10
Chris Cosentino spices his bison strip loin with juniper, since juniper berries often grow where bison graze; the bison can also be replaced with a beef strip loin. For putting a good crust on a juicy steak, Cosentino says, "A hot stone is awesome!" Sometimes known as cooking a la plancha, the method requires heating a smooth stone or cast-iron griddle over hot coals, creating a surface ideal for searing, no oil required. Pizza stones work well here.
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- One 5-pound bison or beef strip loin
- Burrata Salsa, for serving
- In a spice grinder, grind the peppercorns, fennel seeds and juniper berries to a coarse powder. Season the strip loin with salt and rub with the spice mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Light a grill. Place a large pizza stone on the grate and heat until it is very hot, about 10 minutes. (To test the temperature, place a lemon slice or a few drops of water on the stone; the lemon should caramelize on contact and the water should bounce off the surface.) Set the strip loin on the hot stone and cook for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice, until the outside is richly browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 125° for medium-rare.
- Transfer the steak to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve into thick slices and serve with the Burrata Salsa.
Some red grape varieties are known for their herbal nuancesCabernet Franc, for instance, often has a distinctive floral pepperiness that makes it an interesting partner for Cosentino's juniper-inflected strip loins.
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