Monday, April 11, 2011

Definitely Not a 10 Minute Lunch

Ohhh mama, you need smell-o-vision to really get what's going on here. Slurp.

I like to post a couple of quick lunches every now and then to show people that eating well doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out endeavour. Still, I also happen to think that it's important to take time to make some longer, involved recipes. There's something very rewarding about taking my time and really paying attention to what I'm doing in the kitchen. I like marveling at my ingredients, injecting a steak with gratitude or some raw butter with admiration. I have no doubt that the energy we have when cooking shows up on the plate.

One of our most beloved, takes-a-long-time-but-is-well-worth-it meals is braised Chinese oxtail with a bunch of chopped and roasted cauliflower to soak up all of the saucy deliciousness. The recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Bones by Jennifer McLagan. I always triple the recipe (a little trick I employ to make the time spent in the kitchen pay dividends via multiple meals afterwards). If you've never had oxtail, I can't think of a better recipe to start with. After experiencing this meal for the first time, we all agreed that we'd rather have oxtail over ribs any day. Yes, it's that good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hunting for Good Food and Roaming Bison

I updated that menu bar up there. See that? The tab that says, "Hunting for Good Food"? I had a few people contact me about where I find good food in Ontario. Well, I've lived in almost every province in Canada so I've developed a system of sorts to help me find good food no matter where I live. I've tried to condense that information in that page. I hope you find it useful.

These bison roamed in herds like they would in the wild. When we harvested one, we would drive for a long while, looking for the herd and then shoot it. No stress to the animals, instant and humane. 

Thank you, Dr. Harris, for thinking my bison comment worthy of a whole post on your illustrious blog, Archevore. I thought I'd post a few more pictures of one of the bisons we butchered. If you're squeamish, check out now. Otherwise, marvel at what a beast, descended from wild bison, looks like when the animal has had thousands of acres of native prairie grasslands to forage on and has lived a species appropriate life, roaming and carrying about as a bison should. For anyone thinking that wild, grass-fed meat has little fat, I present the following:

 Beautiful gut pile. See how healthy, pink and vital the tissues are?
 Rumen. This is where the bacteria are fed with grass, where the magic happens. In grain fed cattle, the rumen is often red and badly inflamed. You can see how healthy this rumen looks. The green stuff is grass being broken down.
Beautiful kidney and leaf lard.
A cooler full of grass fed bison, beef, lamb and an antelope we hunted. Fat-o-rama.