GET BUFF: Tips & Tricks for Cooking Bison

bison cooking tipsBison is a delicious, lean meat that is regularly used as a substitute for beef. Because of its lower fat content, bison has a deep red color with minimal marbling. Cooking with bison is very similar to cooking with beef, with the exception that bison cooks much faster. Join D’Arcy’s as we discuss some bison cooking tips and methods that will be sure to impress your family and friends at your next dinner party.

Tips for Cooking Bison

  • Don’t overcook it. Cooking bison takes about ⅓ less time to cook than beef. Bison tastes best when prepared rare to medium. Overcook it and you’re giving up a lot of the tenderness and flavour. Bison is high in iron, which gives it a rich, full taste but overcook it and you’ll end up with it something resembling liver.
  • Let it rest. Let your bison steaks rest for about an hour at room temperature before cooking and for five minutes after cooking. The hour before will encourage an even cook, and the five minutes at the end will let it finish cooking internally.
  • Check the temperature. Bison that is cooked to medium rare will have an internal temperature of 145°F (275° if it’s cooked to medium). Temperature is the most accurate way to make sure your meat is cooked properly, so don’t rely solely on the number of minutes it’s been on the grill!

3 Ways to Cook Bison

Stove Top
Frying using a stovetop skillet is a quick and easy way to prepare bison. Simply heat some oil in your skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes and then add your steak!

Oven
Preheat your oven to 500°F as you prepare your bison with your favourite recipe. Place the meat in a roasting pan and roast the meat. How long you’ll need to roast the bison will depend on the size, thickness and whether or not it is bone-in or bone-out.

BBQ
Bison cooks great on the barbeque. When grilling bison, stick to a simple recipe of salt and pepper. On a charcoal grill, arrange the briquettes on one side of the grill. Once the coals are covered in a grey ash, you’re ready to start grilling. If you’re cooking on a gas grill, you’ll want to preheat your grill to between 475°-500°F before placing your steaks on. Don’t forget to brush the grill grate with oil to prevent sticking!

Local, Albertan Bison

D’Arcy’s Meat Market offers top quality, locally sourced meat. Stop by and check out our selection of bison and other meats today!

Our Favourite BBQ Sauce Recipe (And When to Use it!)

bbq sauce recipe

Creating a homemade BBQ sauce is the perfect way to finish off your next set of ribs and impress your family and friends. Don’t worry – it doesn’t take a master chef to be able to put this recipe together! Read on as we share one of our favourite BBQ sauce recipes, as well as some tips on when and how to use it.

The Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups yellow onion (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup dijon mustard (smooth works best)
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder (spice level to taste)
1 tablespoon cumin (ground)
Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Cooking Instructions

In a large saucepan, cook the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil for 10-15 minutes on low heat. We want the onions to become translucent and soft, but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered, and stir occasionally for 30 minutes. Note: You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 30 days.

Recipe courtesy of smitten kitchen.

BBQ Sauce Tips & Tricks

Now that you’ve got the sauce made, let’s learn how to use it! Next time you’re grilling up some ribs, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Apply sauce after the meat is cooked. The last thing you want is your tasyety sauce to get gummy or burnt, so apply the sauce after you’re finished cooking, or at the tail end of your cook (more on that in tip #2).
2. Crisp and caramelize your sauce. The idea here is to throw your sauced up ribs back on direct, high heat (above 320F) for about 10 minutes to caramelize the sugars. Be warned – this is a super easy way to overcook your meat, so if you want to try this method, shorten your cooking time by about 30 minutes to avoid drying out your meat.
3. Don’t overdo the sauce. It’s important to resist the urge to smother your meat in sauce. Don’t forget the meat is the main attraction, the sauce is only made to add to the experience. Stick to one coat of sauce, two max! Also remember to save some to serve on the side for dipping.

Stop by D’Arcy’s Meat Market today to stock up on meat for your next summer BBQ!

READY, SET… GRILL! 5 BBQ Maintenance Tips

bbq-advice-edmontonHere in Alberta, grilling season can last all year round– but no downtime doesn’t mean you can’t keep your BBQ in tip-top shape. In fact, regular use can actually help your grill maintain its effectiveness and durability. Are you curious about how to best handle your grilling equipment? Consult the pros here at D’Arcy’s Meat Market and our guide below for the top tips we’ve discovered over our decades of experience.

1. KEEP IT CLEAN

Whether you are cleaning off last night’s morsels or a winter’s worth of dust and debris, it pays to keep your grill neat and tidy. To clean your BBQ properly, first turn the heat up to high and allow it to come to temperature. Once it’s hot enough, scrape and scour the grill with a wire brush, steel pad or even balled up tinfoil held with tongs.

2. ‘TIS THE SEASON

While a clean grill is important, it is even more crucial not to remove the seasoning from your BBQ’s grate. What you may perceive as a dirty, black crust is actually a safe, microscopic layer that stops food from sticking and can even prevent rust. When scraping your grill, ensure you don’t press so hard to reveal shiny metal. Apply a neutral cooking oil with a paper towel once reasonably clean to maintain a seasoned finish.

3. SAFETY FIRST

Modern BBQs are practically maintenance free and they are so reliable we may even forget that they can present safety hazards if left unchecked. Before each use, check that all connections are secure– especially between the propane tank and your grill’s regulator. Ensure all hoses are free of cracks and that, when lit, flames flow smoothly out of each gas jet. If you use charcoal, always dispose of your coals safely in an ash can or else you risk starting a dangerous fire.

4. COVER UP

It may seem like an unnecessary investment for those with covered patios or room to store their grills indoors, but a proper BBQ cover can add years to your grill’s life. Not only does a well-fitted cover protect against dirt, dust and debris– it also can keep unwanted pests from infesting or damaging your equipment. If your grill is exposed to the elements, a weighted, lined cover offers a significant form of rust prevention.

5. THE RIGHT TOOLS

If you want both your grill and your BBQ utensils to last as long as possible, it is essential to use the right tools for the job. Long-handled tongs, a sturdy spatula, a flexible flipper and a quality grill brush or scouring pad are the first four things to keep close at hand. Using improper tools can damage the utensils themselves and cheap, low quality products can do more harm than good.

As you can see above, there are many strategies and solutions to allow your grill, its accessories and the food you prepare to live up to its full potential. Don’t risk a disappointment– follow our tips and bring any questions or concerns to the experts here at D’Arcy’s Meat Market today!

BBQ&A: Choosing the Best Meat for Your Backyard Bash

bbq-meats-darcys-meatsSummers on the Canadian prairies bring out another side of home cooks– many of us leave the stuffy kitchen behind and head to the backyard, the cottage or even the balcony to fire up the grill. 100% Alberta beef dogs and pork hotlinks are classics for sure, but you may want to expand your horizons eventually. Are you planning your next gourmet grill gathering? Consult D’Arcy’s guide below for answers to your most burning questions.

I’m cooking for a crowd on a budget, what should I grill?

As we said above, there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ ballpark frank– but next time, try spicing it up with a variety of sausages, wursts or smokies. Of course, hamburgers are another budget barbecue favourite that can be reinvented again and again with a myriad of mix-ins. Also, both pork and beef ribs can be purchased in bulk, prepped ahead of time and cooked to order. For more variations, customize all of the above with unique toppings, condiments and garnishes.

What’s a good grilling option for a handful of dinner party guests?

With a smaller crowd, you’ll have more budget with which to work. For the most mouthwatering results, splurge on premium cuts like porterhouses or ribeyes and consider spending a little extra for specialty products such as dry aged or grass-fed meats. Additionally, fewer guests means more real estate on your grill– make the most of it and opt for larger slabs of meat that would be unmanageable with larger groups.

I need a hearty cut of meat that’s easy to prepare for several people– suggestions?

If the situation calls for a step up from burgers and dogs, there are many approaches that will leave all of your guests satisfied. Beef or pork tenderloin prepared whole not only looks impressive– it can be cooked slowly and mostly unattended, it can be reimagined with different stuffings or seasonings and it can be sliced to the appetite of each diner. Strip steaks are boneless, tender and easy to cook in large or small batches. Whole beef brisket must be cooked over indirect heat for several hours, but it is unparalleled in taste and tenderness when done correctly.

The pros here at D’Arcy’s know that every grillmaster has their own style, so you can rely on us to help you select the perfect cut for any occasion. The above questions are only a small sample of the wisdom and advice we can offer when you choose us to supply your next barbecue. More questions? Other concerns? Contact or visit us today!

BBQ DIY: 5 Secrets to Slinging a Savoury Secret Sauce

BBQ-sauce-BBQ-ribsWestern Canadians have cooked food outside for a long time, but recently specific barbecue traditions from across the globe have been rising in popularity. Along with these trends come countless “dos” and “don’ts”– it can be hard to juggle when you’re just trying to put a good meal on the table. D’Arcy’s is here to help with a guide to BBQ sauce and how to best use it to compliment your high quality meats and fresh summer vegetables.

1. Keep it simple

Don’t overthink your sauce– a dozen or so good quality ingredients can be blended into a consistent, flavourful condiment. Start with strong basics like onion and garlic. Add tomatoes, ketchup or tomato paste if desired, then accent with strong seasoning and deep flavours. Vinegars of any variety, sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, molasses), savoury sauces (mustard, Worcestershire, hoisin), spices (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika) and flavour enhancers (sea salt, soy sauce) all belong in premium barbecue sauce.

2. Season lightly, taste often

As you cook, prepare and combine the elements of your sauce, taste the dish regularly. Adjust the seasoning on the fly, but beware of overcorrection– you don’t want to push the flavours too far another way. Look for a balance of salty, sweet, sour and savoury to maintain a complex yet approachable flavour. If you can stand the heat, trying spicing things up with chilis or your favourite hot sauce.

3. Less is more

Too often home grillers think the sauce tastes good, so more sauce must mean… more good? Not quite! A conservative approach to saucing your barbecued meats and veggies will lead to a more appetizing appearance and a better, more even flavouring. Also, taste your food before applying sauce– it might be mouthwateringly delicious all on its own!

4. Timing is everything

Familiarize yourself with your barbecue heat source, including any hot or cold spots. Do not add sauce until your food is just about ready to come off, but allow it a few moments to caramelize and crisp up over the heat. The crunchy coating created by the sauce is what pro pitmasters live for– don’t miss out by taking your food off early or saucing it cold.

If you have any questions or concerns about barbecue sauce, its uses or anything else grill or BBQ related– contact or visit the experts here at D’Arcy’s today!