‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Sunday, January 25, 2009

That's bison, not bichon. What do you take us for?

Q: When are quasi-vegetarians raging omnivores?
A: When they are eating bison, of course.

Let me begin by saying that my friends tend to marry well. Tonight's omnivorian frenzy was a direct result of two of these marriages.

Enter Steve. Steve is one of those people who is always coming up with the weirdest stuff imaginable. He runs his cars off salvaged vegetable oil, forages for food (mostly fishing) and has a knack for attracting wealth in unexpected packages. Like plain white plastic ones marked as "bison" with the name of a Nebraska processing plant printed on them.

A couple weeks ago Steve was bragging about this latest score. A friend of his went west with a bow and arrow and a U-Haul, dropped a bison, had it "processed," and brought it home. All thousand odd pounds of it. When I lived in Colorado I saw a lot of pick-up trucks with elk in the back - feet in the air and dead, dead, dead. I never saw a bison in a pick-up truck. Probably because as soon as you throw a bison in the back of your pick-up truck, all the tires explode.

Recently I've been thinking that if I did eat more meat, it would be the kind of meat that had a happy life in the wilderness until one day it looked up and said "my that's a handsome orange vest you're wear....." So I asked Steve if his friend could spare some and a few days later I was in receipt of my own plain white plastic package with about 5 pounds of ground bison.

Enter Tony. Tony is the chef who turned us onto sardines. That's onto sardines, not into sardines. I ran into Tony and his lovely artist wife Kate at the broadcast of the inauguration. They're very hip, those people. They go places we go.

Knowing Tony to be well-versed in such things, I told him about the bison and asked if he knew of a shepherds pie recipe. He was kind enough to not point out that in order to make a shepherds pie you need a shep. I don't know what you call the pie I wanted to make because I don't know what you call someone who herds bison. Suicidal?

A few days later I got an email with "BISON! BISON! BISON! it's what's for dinner" in the subject line. Today I braved the white plastic bag and cooked the first red meat I've handled in my kitchen in A Long Time. I was very brave. This is what it looked like before I covered it in sauteed vegetables and mashed potatoes.

The end of the recipe said to dig it, dig it the most. And we did. I made a huge pan of bisherds pie, thinking we would eat it all week, but forgot who we were talking about here. Forks were flying and people kept disappearing into the kitchen to "put the water on" or "feed the goldfish." We don't have a goldfish. We also don't have leftovers.

We dug it the most. Thank you, bow and arrow dude. And thank YOU, friends who married well.

This is what we did not eat. Just to be clear.


Celia said...

Mmm shepards pie. I have never made it with ground beef, I've always made a stew( no potatoes) and then spread mashed potatoes over the stew.

You should make a chicken pot pie next. Then a quiche- it could be PIE WEEK!

Debbie said...

I am so glad you cleared that whole misunderstanding up. Although I did not take you for the dog eating sort.

JAbel said...

Bison is very lean compared to grain fed beef I have some Bison in the freezer from a friend in Colorado but until you mentioned it here I never confused bison and bichon.Now you've got me thinking about the old Natl Lampoon article about Dog Fishing in America although the fishing took place in NYCity as I recall.

patty said...

Amusing and compelling. And maybe a little mouth-watering.

I'm imagining my word verification (merfl) as the sound I'd make if I were dining with you, talking with food in my mouth again.

Dana's Brain said...

Love the funky food! Your bisherd's pie sounds great. Good for you for stepping outside your culinary box. With a husband for a chef, there's not much we won't give a try - at least once!

Kristin said...

You know what my first thought was? "How in God's name did the hunter get that bison out of the field?" Even if he cut it up and packed it out in pieces, that's still a whole lotta pounds of flesh to haul.

That said, I've never had bison. And there's actually a buffalo farm only about 20 miles from us. Except I don't need anymore red meat, thank you. When I want to make shepherd's pie, I use the lamb raised by my own personal shepherd.

We have a very close relationship to our food.

Anonymous said...

I have had bison, and I have had buffalo.
If you ever go out west, you are instructed to have buffalo.
Even when I wasn't eating red meat I would have had it, it's that good.
Of course, it doesn't compare to the Trout Diet :)


Susan said...

celia - pie week? What could be better than pie week?

debbie - There's not much meat on those bichons.

jabel - well for heaven's sakes, get it out of the freezer and make some shepherds pie!

patty - merfl is perfectly acceptable dinner conversation around here.

Dana - a husband for a chef?! He sounds dreamy.

Kristin - You know what my first thought was? "aha, take THAT, Kristin! With your freezer full o red meat! I got me some bison."

Lisa - the Trout Diet is going to be immensely popular, mark my words. Also, the Denver Buffalo Company was right down the street from where I used to live. I'd go from time to time for a fix. I'm long overdue.