And just like that, summer is over. Although the warmer months flew by like never before, and we will longingly anticipate the return of prime grilling season, we also can’t help but look forward to the approaching autumn chill.
Fall means something very significant to us – the perfect time to start drooling over deliciously meaty, rustic, and comforting meals to warm your soul in the increasingly cold Calgary weather. Some of our favourite accompaniments to a meat-forward dish are perfectly in-season this time of year, and you get to enjoy the deliciousness of cold-weather cooking without the pressure of the holiday season just quite yet.
That being said, indulging in comfort food doesn’t have to mean coming to terms with eating unhealthily – why not try some delicious recipes featuring lean and versatile Bison? Keep reading for some inspiration on how to best warm your bones over a plate of healthy goodness throughout the fall months using various kinds of Bison meat.
Hearty Bison Bolognese
If a heaping plate of fresh pasta adorned with a hearty, slow-cooked, meaty sauce isn’t the epitome of comfort, we don’t know what is. With the correct combination of ingredients, a bubbling sauce on your stovetop will fill your house with aromas reminiscent of Italy. Typically a Bolognese sauce is comprised of a rich tomato base with some basic veggies, a little splash of wine, ground meat, and some heavy cream all melded together and simmered down. Topped with a bit (or a lot) of parmesan cheese, this simple sauce will satisfy your comfort food cravings instantly.
For a classic Bolognese, swing by and pick up some Ground Bison raised on the Canadian Rocky Mountain Ranch to incorporate into your sauce for a leaner alternative to beef. We recommend sautéing the meat until it is cooked through, removing from the heat, and then doing the same with a combination of carrots, onions, and garlic. Next add in a splash of wine, some tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and some CRMR Kitchen Game Stock. Then be sure to toss in some spices such as oregano, thyme, and bay leaves, and let the sauce simmer away – near the end, add in a splash of heavy cream and stir until it is thick and velvety.
To put a unique spin on the classic Bolognese sauce, toss some Bison Short Ribs into a Dutch oven with some butter or olive oil, sear them until they develop a delicious brown crust, and then remove from heat and add in some finely chopped carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. After adding in the tomato base and a generous splash of white wine, incorporate a warming spice mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a handful of grated parmesan cheese before adding the short ribs back in. Simmer this mixture on low for around 5 hours, remove the bones, and shred the meat. You’ll be gifted a delicious Bolognese with fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth Bison Short Ribs. Try adding in some acorn squash or mushrooms for added flavour and texture.
Rich & Warming Bison Pot Roast
There’s just something about a hearty, slow-cooked, fall-apart roast that can give you the warm fuzzies needed to cure the cold-weather blues. Using either a Bison Top Round, you can whip up a delicious roast by simply tossing the ingredients in a large cooking dish, setting it in the oven, and forgetting it. The best way to achieve fall-apart and tender meat is to sear it hard and fast at the outset so that the Bison browns on the outside and develops some intense and deep flavor before cooking and breaking down slowly.
After browning the meat, remove from the heat and toss some onions, celery, and carrots into the dish to get a good flavor base cooking away. Once the veggies begin softening, you can add in a selection of herbs such as rosemary and thyme and a sauce of your choosing. Try a bottle of CRMR Kitchen Black Currant & Foothills Honey BBQ Sauce to add a sweet and tangy kick to your meat, or try whipping up your own using some tomato paste, soy sauce, and beer – after all, there’s always a place for beer. Once the sauce has significantly reduced, add in some CRMR Kitchen Game Stock and bay leaves, place the meat back in the dish, and toss into the oven for about 4 hours at 325 ° F. Once the meat is cooked through, take it out and let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then garnish with some fresh herbs, serve, and prepare to be pleased.
Red Curry Bison Short Ribs
One of our favourite ways to perk up when the outside temperature is dropping is by incorporating a little spice into our meals. And because our inner BBQ-lover is sad to see the season of ribs and steaks fade away, we want to keep it alive by creating an indoor spin-off of one of our favourite BBQ meals – Short Ribs!
Begin by heating a large Dutch oven, and as per usual, browning the short ribs to create a rich and smoky flavor base. Next, stir in a jar of CRMR Kitchen Red Curry Lemongrass Coconut Sauce, chopped onion, some CRMR Kitchen Game Stock, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Let this reduce until the meat is tender, around 2-3 hours at 300 ° F. Once the meat is cooked through, remove it from the pot and add some bok choy, simmering until the stalks are pierceable with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, plate, and serve with some fresh sprigs of cilantro.
Wanting to try something a little more mild but every bit as delicious? The wonderful Dinner With Julie has a scrumptious recipe sure to warm you up on a cold day – Braised Bison Short Ribs with Espresso Balsamic… need we say more? This recipe utilizes the flavours of garlic, espresso balsamic vinegar, and red wine to bring out the best in your Bison Short Ribs.