Bison Ribs

We ran out to visit the lovely folks at Whitefeather Meats on Saturday so Beloved could pick up a couple of things to take on his business trip this week.  While we were there, I was poking around in the freezers (got another rabbit!) and found a stash of racks of bison ribs.

You KNOW I wasn’t going to pass those up.

When we went to check out, Scott Perkins said to me, “Good choice!  If those didn’t sell, I’d take them home and cook them myself.”  To answer my question as to just how he’d prepare them, he said, “I put them in the slow cooker!”

Once we got home, I decided to put the ribs in the refrigerator so I could cook them for our Sunday dinner (’cause bison ribs are such a traditional Irish meal, don’t you know).  Faced with actually cooking them, though, I thought that I’d like to serve them on the bone so I decided to braise the ribs in the oven and then finish them on my cast-iron grill pan with a sauce.

It was a good choice; the meat was succulent and incredibly flavorful and the choice to brush them with my Rhubarb Chutney Sauce was an excellent one, although they would be delicious with a standard barbecue sauce – or just on their own.  Since they were just huge, they were also rather fun to eat – I felt like Fred Flinstone.  The Young one picked three of the ribs absolutely clean.

If you can’t get your hands on bison ribs, this recipe would be just as good with beef ribs (not to be confused with short ribs).  You can, of course, finish these on the grill, if you prefer.  Assuming it’s grilling weather where you are, because it definitely is NOT here.

Bison Ribs.  Flavorful and meaty, yet tender and succulent, these are quite easy to make.

Bison Ribs
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds bison ribs
  • 2 tablespoons tallow or other cooking fat
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 pint beef stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup [url href=”http://www.janssushibar.com/rhubarb-chutney-sauce/” target=”_blank”]Rhubarb Chutney Sauce[/url]
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Allow the ribs to come to room temperature; if they’re in a rack, separate them into individual ribs and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the tallow over medium-high heat in large, oven-safe Dutch oven or casserole with a lid. Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary,
  3. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Arrange the ribs in the pan on their sides and pour in the beef stock. Cover and bake for 2 hours, turning the ribs every 30 minutes, until they are tender, but not falling off the bone.
  4. Allow the ribs to rest, uncovered, in the pot for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium high heat.
  5. Sear the ribs on the grill pan until they begin to crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Brush with the rhubarb sauce, and serve immediately.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 329 calories, 10.2g total fat, 130mg cholesterol, 346.3mg sodium, 986.6mg potassium, 11.3g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 8.9g sugar, 45.6g protein

Perfect Prime Rib

Actually, it should just be “perfect roast” but since the first time I attempted this method it was with a stupidly expensive bison standing rib roast (and that’s what the picture is), I thought I’d go with that title.  But I’ve since used it on a grass-fed eye of round roast, and it came out perfectly too.  In fact, I’m so enamored with this method of roasting red meat, I plan to use it tonight with a rolled rump roast and then some time soon with a small venison roast I have stashed in the freezer.

I used to be very, very nervous about roasting beef.  Oh, give me a cheap cut like chuck or arm roast and I’ll cook it to a melt-in-your-mouth turn in the slow cooker, but the mere thought of roasting a more expensive cut like prime rib always gave me the willies.  And for good reason – no matter the time or temperature the recipe I chose to follow called for, the darn things would always come out either way too rare or horribly overcooked.

Paula Deen’s “Foolproof Prime Rib” recipe?  Uh…no.  The end result was a dismal failure; I just should have chucked the thing on the table raw, it was so incredibly underdone. (I have since read this method only works well in an electric oven, which might explain it since I have a gas range.)

At any rate, when I finally got the courage to cook the bison rib roast that had been lurking in my freezer, taunting me, I found one of those obscure, badly designed, looks-like-it-hasn’t-been-updated-since-1999 sites complete with cutesy little animated GIFs and seamless tiled backgrounds devoted to bison/buffalo recipes.  Buried in this site were the directions for roasting a bison rib roast, so I decided to give them a whirl.  And by golly, the darn thing came out perfectly – the exterior was lovely and roasted, while the interior was a juicy, tender and uniform pink.  I was so thrilled with it that a couple of days later I cooked a grass-fed eye of round roast using the same method, and it came out perfectly too.

I’m sold.

One caveat, however – this method calls for the use of an oven-safe meat thermometer.  My oven came with a probe for this very purpose; you plug the probe into the oven, then place it in the meat, set the probe to detect the proper internal temperature of the meat, then set the oven temperature and you can walk away and forget all about it – the oven turns itself off when the meat comes to temp.  If your oven doesn’t have this handy little feature, you can buy oven-safe meat thermometers that will do essentially the same thing (well, except for turning the oven off).   Just make sure it’s designed to go in the oven, and is not an instant read thermometer.

Note:  The nutritional information lists this at 621 calories per serving.  It’s prime rib – you’re not going to be thinking about your diet when you’re eating it.  Hopefully with a glass of good red wine and Roasted Squash with Apples, Fingerling Potatoes and Bucheron Cheese.

Perfect Prime Rib

Perfect Prime Rib

serves 10

5 pounds prime rib roast, beef or bison
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Pat roast dry with paper towel; rub with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place roast on a vented roasting pan and set in the middle of the oven.

Roast at 400 F for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and open the door, leaving the roast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Place the probe of an oven safe meat thermometer into the center of the roast; take care that it is not touching bone, fat or gristle. Close the door and set the oven to 200 F.

Continue roasting until the thermometer reaches 130 for rare or 140 for medium rare. Remove the roast from the oven and loosely tent with foil; allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving): 621 calories, 50.1g total fat, 154.2mg cholesterol, 127mg sodium, 691.7mg potassium, 0g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 39.7g protein.

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Posted in participation with Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday