Aren't you just loving this hot summer weather? Before rain sets in again, let's fire up that barbie – but this time, with a difference...
Forget boring beefburgers, bangers and steaks – let’s go water buffalo. Never tried it? Oh but you should! It’s lean, succulent, delicious and with less cholesterol than traditional beef, it’s actually healthier too. Jon from West Country Water Buffalo, just outside Yeovil, shares a couple of BBQ recipes (and so do we) …
MOZZA BUFFALO BURGER
Make mine a gourmet buffalo burger made from chuck steak, nice and thick and juicy.
First, prepare some pesto. Either woosh up a big bunch of fresh basil (around 30g), juice from half a lemon, 50g pine nuts, 50ml olive oil, a clove of garlic, 30g parmesan, salt and black pepper – or buy a good quality jar, if you can’t be bothered.
Then BBQ your burgers. They’ll cook faster than beef so don’t leave them on for as long. For rare 1.5/2 mins/side and up to well done 3-3.5 mins/side. When they’re ready, put a couple of slices of buffalo mozzarella (creamier than regular mozzarella) on top and leave to melt (if you’ve got a lid on your BBQ, put it down).
Spread the pesto on the bottom half of a burger bun (we used sourdough and brioche), scatter on some sun-dried/sun blush tomatoes, then a thick slice of ripe tomato and some salad leaves. Crispy bacon’s good too.
SPICY HALLOUMI BURGER
Not from a water buffalo. Cut thick slices of halloumi (from the wide side, not the narrow), spread both sides with harissa paste and grill on the BBQ. Build your burger: a handful of leaves, the wodge of halloumi and top with a thick slice of ripe tomato.
A JUICY STEAK
Cooking slowly as the coals are near finishing, brings out the juicy sweet flavours of a water buffalo rump steak. Just drizzle on some olive oil and the sprinkle on some Dorset chilli sea salt. For rare 1.5/2 mins/side and up to well done 3-3.5 mins/side. Delicious with broad bean and red pepper salad and new potatoes, mayo and chives.
BROAD BEAN AND RED PEPPER SALAD
Throw together blanched broad beans (frozen are perfect and if they’re the small you don’t even have to remove the skins), chopped pickled roasted red peppers seared on the BBQ and chopped parsley. Drizzle with red wine vinegar, olive oil and top with curls of manchego cheese (not from a water buffalo).
WHERE TO BUY
You can buy water buffalo burgers, all cuts of steaks and sausages for the BBQ (and mince, roasting joints and faggots), water buffalo mozzarella, lots of different flavoured ice creams (in small and large tubs) and water buffalo milk from West Country Water Buffalo.
You’ll find them at farmer’s markets all around the south west – in Axbridge, Crewkerne, Frome, Martock, Montacute, Poundbury and Sherborne – or pop into their farm shop, near the village of Chilthorne Dormer, on the A37 between Ilchester and Yeovil, and personally test every single flavour of ice cream before you buy.
Opening hours: Mon to Fri 9am–6.30pm; Sat 9am–6.30pm; Sun 10am–2pm (though as it’s a working farm, you might want to give them a buzz beforehand to double check).
Higher Oakley Farm, Chilthorne Domer, Yeovil, BA22 8LS.