It ages for 70 days, and then cooks in about 200 seconds. In an oven as hot as Lampo’s pizza oven, that’s all it takes to yield a perfect steak, just short of medium rare.
It is the brain-child of chef Ian Redhsaw, one of the Fab Four who own Lampo, the Neapolitan pizzeria where the stellar pizza is just part of the fun. Redshaw’s wife Allie is executive chef at Timbercreek Market, the butcher, cafe, and grocery recently opened by Timbercreek Farm. Redshaw has been helping out at the market in his spare time, and with a longtime meat-lover in his version of a candy store, it was only a matter of time before he’d want to bring grass-fed Timbercreek steak to Lampo.
After-dry aging the meat for 70 days, Redshaw cooks it in Lampo’s pizza oven at temperatures nearing 1,000 degrees. Less than four minutes later, you’ve got something both primal and delicious. Redshaw allowed me a sample, and the texture and flavor were spot-on. Sometimes carnivores have a hankering for steak. Touched with just salt, pepper, and olive oil, and rich with umami, this is exactly what they crave.
“Dry aged beef goes hand in hand with our philosophy at Lampo,” says Redshaw. “Take good quality ingredients and do as little as possible to them to elevate the flavor.” What does the dry aging do? For one, it “uses air and the natural uric and lactic acids to break down sinew as well as create natural MSG,” explains Redshaw. “It also tightens fat structure and decreases the amount of water in the meat, making the entire product more tender and concentrated in flavor.”
The first steaks, rib eyes, are available starting today. There are less than 30 of them, and, at $14 for a 7 oz steak, they won’t last long. If you miss them this time, no worries. You can just catch the next round. In about 70 days.
On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Sara Miller, who, with her husband Zach, runs Timbercreek Farm, and now, the brand new Timbercreek Market. One of the hottest openings of the year, the market celebrated its grand opening this week in the Coca-Cola building on Preston. For her picks, Miller focused on sweets. As she explained: “I am passionate about a lot of things but meat, beer and SWEETS are at the top of my list! I have always had a sweet tooth and now that we have three kids I finally have a gang that will happily enjoy sweets with me anytime of day. Here are my favorite go to spots for something sweet:”
1) Princess Cake at Albemarle Baking Company. “I am a cookie girl but I have to admit my favorite sweet at ABC is the princess cake. At least twice a week my three-year old asks, ‘Did you go to Gerry’s today?’ or ‘We need to go to Gerry’s mama!’ Hard to find a place that is a crowd pleaser when you have age ranges from 33 to 3 and at ‘Gerry’s’ we can all find something we love!”
2) Peanut Butter Balls at Feast!. “Warning, they are addicting and yes I have gone to Feast! just for a peanut butter ball. During the holidays they sell them in packages of six and every time I buy the six-pack and they are gone by the time we leave and have to buy another pack to take home to Zach.”
3) Budino at Lampo. “Who doesn’t love Lampo or the guys who own Lampo? The tiny little spot in Belmont has the greatest guys and the best talent packed into one little spot. Yes, the wait can be long but let me tell you it is worth it and save room because the desserts are incredible. Lampo is a spot where ordering dessert first is the right thing to do, as they often sell out of their amazing dishes. My personal favorite is the Budino but really you can’t go wrong with whatever they have left.”
4) Summer Pie at The Pie Chest. “My current favorite is the summer pie but the fun thing about Rachel is it is always changing with the seasons. You can’t go wrong and you have to go back often because what is in season changes quickly here in Virginia.”
5) Chocolate Milkshake at Timberlakes Drug Store. “Best milkshake in town! I love a great chocolate milkshake, and there isn’t a better spot in town with such smiling nice people every time you go in!”
The first food tenant at the historic Coca-Cola building is set to open. And, it’s no joke.
Timbercreek Market, an offshoot of Timbercreek Farm, will house a butcher shop, cheese shop, and casual restaurant, all in one. For years, Timbercreek Farm products have been on menus of the area’s top restaurants, on shelves at select retail outlets, and available for purchase from the farm itself. Now, Timbercreek is poised to remove altogether the middle men from the “farm-to-table” process. The farm will bring its products literally to guests’ tables.
Sara Miller, who owns Timberbreek with her husband Zach, said that the idea behind the market is to “answer demand from both our customers and chefs that has been increasing over the years . . . for a place where they can gather to enjoy, shop for, and learn about the local foods we grow at the farm as well as those grown at other farms in the area.”
Given how esteemed Timbercreek Farm is throughout the food community, it’s no surprise that an all-star cast has flocked to help out. Will Richey and Josh Zanoff, of The Alley Light, The Whiskey Jar, and Revolutionary Soup, have been overseeing planning. “I have worked with Timbercreek since the very beginning,” said Richey. “With this new project, Timbercreek can extend their best practices in rearing animals to the best practices in handling the meats they produce.” Richey says that while the market will have “all the things you expect from a top notch butcher shop,” what will make it special is that “you’ll know exactly where all of the meat is coming from — the farm less than seven miles from where it is being sold.” Chefs and customers can inspect the daily offerings, select exactly the cut of meat they want, and know its source.
Beyond Timbercreek’s own beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, rabbit, eggs, and produce, the market will also offer products from other top local food businesses, including other farms, Shenandoah Joe, The Pie Chest, and more. Meanwhile, The Wine Guild will provide a selection of wines, which can be enjoyed both on premise and off. The idea, Richey said, is to be a one stop shop for whatever’s needed for a great local meal.
Running the cheese counter will be Nadjeeb Chouaf, who last year was named second best cheesemonger in the country. The market will be the new home of his Flora Artisanal Cheese. “I’m really excited about partnering with Zach and Sara,” said Chouaf who expects the new, larger space for his cheese shop to allow expanded selections, and also regular cheese classes, events, and even pop-up dinners.
Manning the butcher counter will be Adam Lawrence, a ten year veteran of Whole Foods Market. “I am truly passionate about meat cutting,” said the Earlysville native. “It is an art not commonly practiced in this day and age.”
And, heading the kitchen will be Allie Redshaw, sous chef of Pippin Hill Farm. Anyone who has enjoyed a meal recently at Pippin Hill knows that this is a good thing. A very good thing.
Redshaw, whose husband Ian co-owns Lampo, plans an array of prepared food items to eat at the market or take home, as well as sandwiches stuffed with Timbercreek products. We got a sneak peek at the menu and its a doozy, with options like a 120-day Dry Aged Ribeye Philly Cheese on ABC Ciabatta or a Brioche Grilled Cheese with Bone Marrow. But, the sandwich that Redshaw is most excited about is her riff on a banh mi, which she says will include “an assortment of Porky goodies, pickled vegetables, and seasonal pates.” Instead of the traditional crusty baguette, Redhsaw will serve the sandwich on Tigelle – a delicious bread from Emilia Romagna that is notoriously difficult to perfect. Redshaw has been working hard to do just that, and Timbercreek Market will make theirs fresh daily.
Most of the rest of the sandwiches will be served on bread from Albemarle Baking Company, which drives home how intertwined our local producers and purveyors are. Timbercreek provides its farm’s eggs to the bakery, which uses them to make bread, which the bakery provides to Timbercreek to make sandwiches. “A full circle,” said Miller.
Last but not least, there will of course be steak! Customers can pick any steak they like and, for a small fee, have it grilled for them on the spot. Richey is high on this option. “I am personally ecstatic about the chance to walk into the shop, point at a perfectly cut steak in the case and say, ‘Grill that for me, medium rare’, and then sit down with a beer to wait for my steak – any time of the day.” Beer and steak any time of day sounds good to us.
Timbercreek Market plans for a June opening, with hours 10-7, Monday through Saturday. In the historic Coca-Cola building at 722 Preston Avenue.