Wine author and avowed meat eater Shelley Boettcher, shares her tips on the best beverage to enjoy with your premium Canadian bison from Noble.
When it comes to pairing bison with alcohol, red wine is a natural choice. But some red wines go better than others. Unlike, say, roast beef, bison is low in fat, so it won’t be its best with tannic reds such as inexpensive young Cabernet Sauvignon. (The fat softens the tannins.) Try, instead, a Tuscan Sangiovese or fruit-driven Tempranillo from Spain. Either should pair beautifully with your Noble bison striploin.
Or seek out an Italian Nebbiolo or a fine French Syrah—maybe even one that’s been aging for a few years. The Syrah’s savory, spicy notes will add plenty of depth to your dish, while the delicate Nebbiolo aromas will complement the bison’s delicious flavors.
Making ribs? A California Zinfandel is always a fine pairing, or try a value-priced Primitivo from Italy. As for a burger, consider a juicy, crowd-pleasing Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina or Cahors, France.
Of course, wine isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for an alternative, consider whisky. The intense, smoky notes of your favorite scotch whisky will bring out the natural sweetness of the meat, while the delicacy of a pot-stilled Irish whisky can also work with the meat’s lower fat content. Or pour an American bourbon, straight up or on the rocks; the sweetness of this corn-based whisky will also be an excellent match with a range of bison ranch dishes.
Whatever you opt to drink, don’t forget to think about the spices you’re using with your meat. If you’re cooking a bison curry, consider a lighter style of red—perhaps a Gamay (Beaujolais, if you’re in the French section of your favorite wine shop), which won’t be overpowered by the intense seasoning. And chilis? Go back to that Malbec again. If it works for a timeless Argentine chimichurri, it just may work for your dish, too.
Cast Iron Grilled Striploin
In Canada, we normally grill steaks on the BBQ, but a cast iron pan works just as well! Use the best quality meat, simple seasoning and a good sear for perfect steakhouse-quality every time. Just follow these easy tips:
- Cast iron pans have to be seasoned with oil over time, which makes the pans almost non-stick.
- To cook a steak perfectly, the pan has to be very hot (don’t forget to protect your hands, as the handle can get hot).
- Remove steaks from the fridge about a 1/2 hour before cooking so they get to room temperature (this ensures they cook more evenly).
- Keep the seasoning simple. We use a little bit of roasted garlic, coarse sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and a little oil.
- 2 – 10 oz (284gr) Noble Premium Bison striploins cut about 1 inch (2.5cm) in thickness (at room temperature)
- 1 tbs (14g) soft roasted garlic
- 1⅕ tbs (21g) course sea salt
- 1 tbs (14g) coarsely ground black pepper
- 1½ tbs (21g) grape seed oil
- 4 tbs (58g) chilled butter (cut in 4)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
- Place a 12”(30cm) cast iron pan on the stove and raise the heat to high.
- Place the bison steaks on a cutting board and rub both sides with the roasted garlic.
- Generously sprinkle coarse sea salt and ground black pepper over both sides of the steaks.
- Pour the oil over the steaks and massage the seasoning in until all sides are coated.
- Place one steak at a time into the hot cast iron pan being careful of the oil splatter.
- You will hear an intense sizzle, which is good! Continue to sear for 3 minutes.
- Turn the steak over and sear the other side for another 3 minutes.
- During the searing of the second side, place the butter, sprigs of thyme and cloves of garlic in the pan. As the butter melts, tilt the pan slightly and start basting the butter over the steak with a spoon as it melts. Keep basting for the 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes on a room temperature surface (clean cutting board) before serving or cutting. This will keep the juices in the steak.
- Best served medium rare with a meat thermometer – 130°F (55°C)/135°F (60°C)
Garlic, butter and thyme feature prominently in this easy-to-prepare recipe. Try a Sangiovese, Tempranillo or Malbec—look for one from Bodega Catena Zapata, O. Fournier, Pascual Toso or Luigi Bosca.