Chef Dean Fearing prepares Maple-Black Peppercorn Soaked Buffalo Tenderloin at his restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.
Home on the grill in Dallas, where the buffalo rules
DALLAS - When celebrated chef Dean Fearing was on the verge of opening his new restaurant, Fearing’s, in the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, he was hounded by a purveyor of Comanche buffalo who would drive across the border every day from Lawton, Okla. Waiting patiently at the back door, the man would urge Fearing to sample his wares.
Fearing finally acquiesced and cooked up a small portion.
“It was incredible. I never tasted meat so tender,’’ says Fearing.
The dining public agreed, quickly making “Maple-Black Peppercorn Soaked Buffalo Tenderloin’’ the most popular dish on the menu. The chef found inspiration from a cookbook that detailed how the earliest settlers in Kentucky would preserve their meat in a barrel by covering it with molasses. He marinates his tenderloin for two days in a mix of Vermont maple syrup, red chile flakes, cracked black pepper, sage, thyme, garlic, and shallots.
Fearing then cleans off the meat before searing it on a grill and roasting it in the oven. The result is a caramelized steak, still juicy and not in the least bit cloying from the syrup. A dish so memorable that people call Fearing at 10 a.m., asking to have it that night for dinner.
“Yes, it’s on the menu,’’ says Fearing. “There’d be a riot if I took it off.’’
STEPHEN JERMANOK Fearing’s Restaurant, 2121 McKinney Ave. , Dallas, 214-922-4848, www.fearingsrestaurant.com