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!

DOMESTIC GOURMET: 5 Tips for Cooking Wagyu Beef at Home

wagyu-beef-steakNow a mainstay on gourmet menus, wagyu (literally: “Japanese cow”) was widely mislabeled as Kobe beef. While Kobe beef is derived from wagyu cattle, only the meat from specific animals from a specific region in Japan can truly be called Kobe beef. Since this premium meat is not commercially available outside of Japan, wagyu breeds and hybrids are raised here to serve the appetites of Canadian consumers.

Whether for a special occasion or simply just treating yourself… If you have any interest in wagyu beef, it is likely due to its higher fat content and exquisite marbling. Remember: wagyu beef is an investment– if you plan to prepare it at home, keep reading for five essential tips from D’Arcy’s!

#5: Temperature

You need two things to cook perfect wagyu: a hot pan and a room temperature steak. Use a heavy pan that distributes heat evenly, preferably cast iron, and bring it up to medium-high on a grill, griddle or stovetop. Take the wagyu out ahead of time to take the chill off of it– cold meat cooks unevenly.

#4: Fat

As wagyu is second-to-none in fat content, there is no need to add butter, oil or any other fat to the pan. If using stainless steel, a small trimming of wagyu fat can be used to prime a hot pan. Any excess fat could leave the steak tasting soggy, oily or too rich.

#3: Salt

Add salt directly to the pan, not the meat. Create a base layer for the steak with a pinch or two of your preferred variety of coarse salt. Lay the wagyu on the bed of salt in the hot pan– this should create an instant sizzle, a delicious aroma and, in a minute or two, a perfect, golden crust.

#2: Patience

Let the first side sear completely before touching the meat, usually two to three minutes at medium-high. If you gently prod the steak, it should move freely before you flip it– any sticking means the crust has not fully formed. Brown the second side before lowering the heat and finishing to medium-rare, usually three to five minutes. Over- or undercooked wagyu beef is a tragedy, so: keep a steady pace, use a meat thermometer (sparingly) and, above all, be patient!

#1: Final touches

Since most of us can’t afford wagyu beef every night, go the extra mile for the best possible experience! Use good cutlery and steak knives, pre-warm your serving dishes and plates and pick out a nice wine or nonalcoholic beverage that pairs well with red meat. To serve, slice the steak against the grain and pour over any remaining pan juices. That’s it– itadakimasu! (“let’s eat!)

The wisdom above outlines a few steps to cooking good wagyu, but always ask your butcher for the best tips. Our experienced, friendly staff can offer specific advice based on the cut and marbling of each unique steak sold at D’Arcy’s. Feel free to contact or visit us today for more info on our selection of wagyu beef!

RAISE THE STEAKS: The Differences Between Wagyu & Kobe Beef

three marbled wagyu steaks

Wagyu versus Kobe– it might sound like an MMA match or the title of a samurai movie, but it is actually two Japanese classifications for beef. The terms Wagyu and Kobe are becoming more popular across the globe, showing up in movies and restaurant menus alike. If the price can be trusted, product is certainly delicious; but what does Wagyu or Kobe actually mean?

Read on for D’Arcy’s guide to understanding Wagyu and Kobe beef classification.

WAGYU (wag-you)

Literally translated as “Japanese cow,” Wagyu is a broad term that defines many breeds of cattle domesticated in Japan. Wagyu cattle’s beef is exceptionally well marbled* thanks to centuries of Japanese feeding and breeding techniques. Nowadays, Wagyu-style cattle farms are operated all over the world– though Alberta is the only other province besides PEI to produce Wagyu beef.

*Marbling is a patchwork of fat that gives red meat its flavour, as well as determining its grade and market cost.

KOBE (ko-bay)

Like products such as Champagne or Parmesan cheese, authentic Kobe beef can only be sourced from a highly specialized part of the world that follows intense regulations– specifically a certain strain of cattle produced around Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Still, like the aforementioned products, Kobe-style beef is widely available at a relatively lower price. The main difference from authentic and Kobe-style is the strict quality guidelines that are followed, which limit the worldwide total of certified Kobe cattle to just a few thousand cows in Japan.

*Note: All Kobe beef raised from Wagyu cattle; but not all Wagyu beef can be classified as Kobe beef.

Do you want to experience the “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation of finely marbled beef? Do you have a refined palate or are you simply looking to treat yourself? Want to leave your next BBQ guests with your reputation as the Indiana Jones of steak? Visit D’Arcy’s and ask about locally available Wagyu, Kobe and Kobe-style beef!

Our professional and friendly staff will work with you to find a product that suits your needs and budget. We boast years of knowledge and experience in the industry and we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

BISON: AT HOME ON THE RANGE

Summer is here! Of course summer means grilling and every backyard chef is looking for a new flavour to complete the barbecue experience. Whether you want the perfect burger, shish-kebab, smokie or even steak: look no further than bison! Lean, flavorful bison is becoming commonplace everywhere from neighbourhood cafes to Michelin-star restaurants. Tender yet high in protein and nutrients, bison has everything you could ask for in a meat. Read on to learn more about where it comes from and its health benefits.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY

Sometimes called “buffalo,” North American bison are in fact only distantly related to the true buffalo of Asia and Africa. Bison are indigenous to North America and covered much of the continent in vast numbers long before the introduction of traditional cattle. The original red meat of the Plains First Nations, bison became overhunted in the 1800s but the population has been since restored to over half a million. Canada– Alberta specifically– is a world leader in bison production, so all of our bison at D’Arcy’s is AAA graded and locally raised.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Bison is absolutely the healthiest red meat on the market. Lower in calories than traditional beef, bison is also meatier. In a same-size serving, bison provides almost twice the amount of protein as beef! Bison is low in fat and cholesterol, while high in vitamins (B12, B6, iron, niacin and more) and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and -6). All of this means a non-greasy, fast-cooking red meat alternative that you can easily substitute into any of your favourite recipes.

 

WHAT’S THE DISH

Want to try bison, but not sure how to use it? Consider replacing ground beef with ground bison to make a leaner burger or chili with a flavour all its own. Bison jerky and bison smokies are easy ways to introduce it to the kids and a 21-day aged bison steak will win over any size of carnivore.

 

Contact our experts at D’Arcy’s with any questions you might have and visit us for more suggestions on how to prepare bison for your summer barbecue and beyond!

Know Your Meat: Veal

Introducing Local Alberta Veal

If we were to describe a tender, pink meat with an especially subtle flavor, not many people would imagine beef—but that’s exactly what we’re talking about today. Veal, the meat of young cattle, is a unique form of beef: soft, pale, mild, and slightly sweet. D’Arcy’s Meats has partnered with Lakeside Dairy, a local Alberta farm, to bring this excellent meat to Edmonton meat markets.

We know that some people have been hesitant to try veal. Back in the 80s, a public controversy about the way veal calves were raised led some people to give the meat up. However, a lot has changed in the three decades since then. It’s high time to give veal another look. Read More