Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bison Burgers and Fiddleheads


Have you ever driven to Montreal and noticed the sign in a field that says bisons.ca? I notice it every time I go. I finally remembered to check it out when I got home last week from a work trip. The site was a bit slow to load but with a little patience I was able to read about Ranch les Beaux Bisons. This past year I'd say I've been on a bit of a meat kick. Maybe not to the average person, but to myself personally. I've never been a huge meat eater. I also recently found out that meat is good for my blood type, especially bison. So my husband and I decided to stop in at this farm on our way home from Montreal last weekend. The experience we had was not at all what anyone would expect. I'm going to keep the story short. Nothing I say will do it justice – it's something you have to experience on your own. 

As we drove down the road leading to the house we could see many bison grazing in the field. Upon arrival, a small sign guided us to the front door. A middle-aged man who looked like he had been busy doing some work inside greeted us before we had a chance to reach for the door handle. The store is the front part of his home. There's a counter, a scale and some steel freezers to the right, and on the left were many pieces of bison hide on a couch, and further in, a stuffed baby bison amongst some bookshelves leading to the living room. I immediately began speaking to him in French. He explained his feeding and lifestyle process for the bison. They are basically wild if you want to make a long story short. He does not grain feed these animals at all. Additionally, he allows them to reproduce as they would in the wild. He does not speed up the process in order to increase his profit and the result is a far more flavourful meat. The meat he sells is in such high demand that you have to pre-order it if you want it fresh. Otherwise, you may just purchase the meat that is frozen, and I can tell you after tonight, delicious! We purchased some stewing meat as well as ground. Tonight we had the ground. My husband made the best burgers I've ever had. He put a little garlic and onion in the meat and one egg. A $10 package made us 4 burgers. He didn't add anything else to it. We wanted to really taste the meat, and boy did we ever. So much better than beef and so much healthier. At least you know what these animals have been eating. Now this meat was extremely lean. You have to be careful when cooking it so as to not overcook it and to not have it fall apart on you on the barbecue. My husband cooked them just long enough so that you could flip them in one piece and then just seared the other side briefly. We thought they may end up a little dry, but not at all. He served them with some fiddleheads and a balsamic spinach and radish salad.

If you go, give yourself a lot of time to visit. After learning about the bison, my husband asked Mr. S├ęguin if he spoke English. Do I?! I just wrote a book in English he said. His English was as good as his French. And from this point on, our visit went from 15 minutes to two hours. This man is the most unique man I have ever met. He told us many stories and life lessons that I still, almost 3 days later, cannot wrap my head around. His main one, about his book, is the most unusual love story I've ever heard. To make this long story very short, I will say only this, he briefly met the woman he was to spend the rest of his life with in 2001, and is still waiting for her to return today. His home has been prepared for the arrival of this family (she has 4 kids); however, spiritually, she is already there. It's just a matter of time. The book has yet to be published, I gather it will be soon, but this site will let you know when it is: wakinda.ca. It doesn't link to anything but the bison site right now. He's saving it for the book launch.

4 comments:

An ostrich named Sam said...

Fiddleheads, with a bit of vinegar and salt and pepper, one of the reasons to love spring. I can't wait to get some this weekend. The burger looks really good too. As always your meal looks divine.

Rachelle said...

Oh my! that does sound fantastic! I'll have to do that the next time. And thanks! It was REALLY good!

Anonymous said...

I did it exactly like that! With a bit of vinegar, salt, pepper and BUTTER. Fiddleheads are more expensive here in Ontario than they were in NB. I'm going to try and freeze some this weekend.

- the husband

Rachelle said...

Oh god! Shows how much I know! I didn't realize there was vinegar on them, I just thought they were super good. I guess it was done properly so as to not overpower the fiddleheads with vinegar flavour. If i had done it that's probably all you would have tated.

- the embarrassed wife