Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grilled Bison and King Oyster Mushrooms with Green Beans and Carrots.

Oh yes! My fabulous husband decided to stop by our favorite butcher the other day and pick up something nice. This butcher carries a lot of local meat which I really appreciate. Including this glorious bison.

For the bison, I mixed fresh rosemary and thyme with a touch of whole grain dijon mustard and olive oil. The bison is great on it's own, so my aim is not to flavour so much as give a hint of support for it. I rub the herb mixture on and then add fresh cracked pepper and a touch of kosher salt. I like my meat medium-rare to rare and I wouldn't recommend cooking something like this more than medium at the most.

One thing that makes a huge difference with meat, especially red meat, is letting it come to room temperature before cooking. This helps the meat "relax" a little (I believe) but mostly helps you cook the meat more precisely. You just can't cook a refrigerator-cold piece of meat properly all the way through because the outside will warm up but the center will still be cold. Yuck! So let it warm up for awhile! The time depends on many things such as size of cut and ambient room temperature. My house is typically around 18C until the middle of summer and I will leave it out for as long as an hour but usually 30 minutes or so. For chicken I would do 20 minutes at most, just because I'm paranoid (and can't often get local chicken, oddly).

But I digress! Those beautiful mushrooms are from a local mushroom farm and they arrive in my weekly produce deliveries. These are King Oyster or King Eryngii (pleurotus eryngii) and they are one of my favorites now. They have fantastic flavour and are quite "meaty". We like to simply cook them in a pan with a bit of butter (unsalted) and lightly salt and pepper them. As with most things this good, we prefer to let the natural flavours be centre stage.

The carrots and green beans were also cooked simply in a frying pan on moderate-high heat.  More fresh thyme and rosemary were sprinkled over the mushrooms and veggies. 


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