Labor Day is fast approaching and if you're anything like us, your weekend is packed with get-togethers, parties and plenty of opportunities to flex your culinary muscle. If inspiration hasn't struck yet, here is a list of ideas to get you motivated. Whether you're into smoking, grilling or slow-cooking, we've got you covered.
It's a busy week, be sure to call ahead to place your order.
Labor Day Items
And don't forget about our great selection of wine and beer.
We get a lot of diehard Paleo customers in the shop as well many who are curious about the tenants of the diet. The following is a general overview of the plan. Not only is it very meat-friendly but it’s more of a guideline for eating than a traditionally restrictive “diet.” Paleo is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should return to a pre-industrial era by eating real, whole, unprocessed foods that promote healthy metabolic, digestive, and immune systems.
This means avoiding grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, corn, soy and sugar. And instead, filling up on grass-fed meat like cattle, bison, goats, lamb or wild game. The Paleo Diet also includes pasture-raised chicken, eggs and pork, and wild-caught seafood. In addition, one should eat a variety of vitamin- and mineral-packed, organically grown, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.
The Paleo Diet embraces healthy fats. The right types of fat are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation. Healthy saturated fat comes from grass-fed meat, poultry, seafood, ghee, butter and coconuts. Also encouraged is monounsaturated fat from olive oil, nuts and seeds, as well as a healthy amount of Omega-3.
The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity. Kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great options.
This seems like a lot to remember but it's really not. Below is an excellent and handy cheat sheet from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilipino. As you can see, following this "diet" is hardly restrictive!
Because Paleo is viewed as a template to healthy living, there is room to personalize. Many people find that chocolate, some dairy, and some alcohol fit nicely into their personal regime. However, it’s recommended one stick to the Paleo template at its most basic before adding or subtracting. You may discover food intolerances, reactions, or or allergies you didn’t know you had.
Scientists are beginning to see the benefits of this way of eating. Test subjects who adopted the Paleo Diet reported significant improvements in their general heath, body composition and energy levels. Doctors are finding that it reduces the risks of many diseases, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Some reported benefits are:
The Organic Butcher offers wild, grass-fed game meats, free-range chicken and wild-caught seafood, plus some prepared Paleo foods for your convenience.
Try our Bison Meatballs or Green Sausage (chicken or pork) and build your meal from there!
There are few things more crowd-friendly (and chef-friendly) than a one-pot chili. Toss in your ingredients and let it simmer all day — the longer it cooks, the more the flavors meld. It's the ultimate comfort food and a cinch for entertaining. There are a myriad of ways to make it, but why not do something a little special on Super Bowl Sunday?
Change it up this weekend by using wild game meats instead if the usual ground beef. The following recipe combines wild boar and bison. The resulting chili is rich with flavor and very lean. Finish it with your favorite toppings — avocado, shredded cheese, chopped raw onion and sour cream. It's a guaranteed touchdown!
WILD GAME CHILI
Recipe from Primal Cuts: Cooking With America's Best Butchers by Chris Hughes of Broken Arrow Ranch, a premier supplier of high-quality wild game meats in South Texas.
2 pounds coarsely ground bison or venison
1 pound coarsely ground wild boar
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 (12-ounce) can/bottle beer (try our Samuel Smith Organic Ale)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 (or to taste) chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped, sauce reserved
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 to 5 tablespoons chili powder (you can mix favorites, like ancho & cayenne but watch the heat)
4 tablespoons ground cumin seed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
Combine the bison (venison) and boar meat. In a heavy pot with tight-fitting lid, heat cooking oil and brown meat in small batches, setting aside each batch as it is browned.
Return browned meat to pot, add ½ can of ale and cook covered over low heat for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and add ale if the liquid evaporates.
While meat is cooking, chop the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chipotle. To make a mild version, split jalapeño in half and remove seeds and internal membrane (responsible for most of a pepper’s “heat”) with a spoon before chopping. Leaving more of these makes the chili spicier.
Drain the pot’s juices into a skillet and sauté the onion, jalapeño, and garlic in the juices until onion is softened. Pour this mixture back into the pot with the meat and add adobo sauce and tomato paste.
Cook covered over low heat for 2-½ to 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more ale if needed. The chili should cook at a low simmer, not a boil.
Add chili powder, cumin seed, paprika, salt, and pepper, and adjust. (If you desire a thicker chili, make a slurry with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and a little water. Stir in the cornstarch mixture just before chili has finished cooking.) Serve over tamales or corn chips with cheese and sour cream.
VENISON STEW (from Saveur Magazine)
This Alsatian dish is a rich game stew, traditionally thickened with the blood of the animal. This recipe uses flour for a lighter interpretation.
3 lbs. boneless venison shoulder, cut into large pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
12 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
15 black peppercorns
1 bottle dry hearty red wine, such as côtes-du-rhône
1/4 lb. slab bacon, sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. flour
12 small boiling onions, peeled
1 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 tbsp. cognac
1. Combine venison, carrots, yellow onions, garlic, 2 sprigs parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and wine in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to tenderize venison.
2. Julienne bacon. Cook in a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
3. Remove venison, then strain marinade into a bowl, discarding herbs and vegetables. Season meat with salt and pepper. Add oil to bacon fat in pot, increase heat to medium-high, add meat, and brown, turning occasionally, 7-10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over meat, and return bacon to pot. Cook, stirring, until flour turns a nut-brown color, about 1 minute. Add marinade, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until venison is tender, 2-2 1/2 hours. Note: Cooking times vary. Once the meat begins to fall apart, it is done. Any longer and you risk the meat completely breaking down.
4. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add onions and sugar and simmer over medium heat until tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.
5. Remove venison from pot to finish sauce. Increase heat to medium-high, add cognac, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and whisk in remaining butter. Return venison to sauce, add onions and mushrooms, and mix thoroughly. Chop remaining parsley and sprinkle on top. Serve with slices of toasted country bread if desired.
We are currently getting some awesome Bison NY Strips and Rib-Eyes from one of our local farmers in Charlottesville, VA. We love Bison because it's higher in protein than beef and incredibly flavorful but still very lean. Bison is also lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol than chicken or fish!
We recommend keeping the seasonings simple because the Bison is so flavorful on its own, so you'll want to add just enough to bring out the flavors but not overpower them. For the Bison Rib-Eye I knew that the Omnivore Salt, the new addition to our shop, would be a perfect way to season the steaks. The recipe for Omnivore Salt was created decades ago in Sicily and passed down through generations. It's a perfect mixture of spices with salt that help enhance the natural flavor in food. This salt blend works on everything - meat, vegetables and fish; just a pinch unlocks the deepest flavors of your food. A little goes a long way with this salt, so just use a pinch!
Pre-heat grill to medium-high or bring your BGE to 400 degrees.
Rub Bison Rib-Eyes with a quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a small amount of the Omivore Salt, and a little bit of Ground Black Pepper for good measure.
Place seasoned steaks on the hot grill and let the first side cook for 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak.
Flip and cook second side for 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the steak.
Let rest for 5 minutes.
Cut against the grain and enjoy!
We recommend pairing a Bison steak with a boldy tannic Cabarnet Sauvignon. You need something that won't get lost on the palette with this indulgent dish, and the Elyse 2008 Cabarnet Sauvignon is perfect for that. It's complex with velvety tannins and bold notes of ripe black fruits and spices. This is an amazing bottle of wine and I would recommend it with almost anything, but it really pairs especially well with this dish.
We are getting in a bunch of Organic Corn right now for the summer! So, I paired the dinner with a side of sweet corn which tasted great along side the nicely salted Bison steaks. Don't forget to cut your steak against the grain, it helps hold in all the juices and flavors. Last tip - Enjoy!