Bison Kabob with Rainbow Chard

I came across Great Range Brand Bison on a recent trip to the grocery store. There were several cuts to choose from, I decided to go with the ribeye. We’ve been wanting to add more “exotic” meats as a way to switch to leaner red meats. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with the ribeye but once I opened up the package, I knew that kabobs was the way to go. The ribeye had two layers of fat running through it but not a whole lot of marbling like you would see in a beef ribeye, as expected. I trimmed off the fat and cut the meat into 2 inch cubes.

From what I’ve read about bison meat, the best way to cook it is slow and low heat, best serve rare to medium rare. Not a problem for us since we like our meat medium rare. I debated a bit about what to season it with but in the end, chose salt and pepper since we wanted to be able to taste the flavor of the meat. It turned out to be the right choice since the meat didn’t need anything else.

I forgot to leave enough time to soak the bamboo skewers but luckily I had metal skewers on hand. I fired up the gas grill and kept it around 375 degrees. Not exact low heat but I wanted to add a bit of the char on the outside while still keeping it rare-ish on the inside. I grilled the meat about 2 minutes on each side, maybe a total of 6-7 minutes. I really wanted to error on the rare side and didn’t want to risk overcooking the meat. Here they are right off the grill.

The meat was very tender and had wonderful flavor. The meat was cooked to rare and medium-rare but it didn’t taste bloody as a rare beef meat would have tasted. Sorry if that might gross some of you out. It was not gamey but  it’s kind of hard for me to describe the taste, not beefy but meaty? I don’t know how to describe it…kind of similar to comparing the flavor of lamb to beef, uh…well, taste like lamb. Well, this tasted like uh…bison. Even though there wasn’t much marbling (i.e., less fat),  it was still very tender. As with any ribeye, there were a little bit of connective tissue in a few of the pieces, which I enjoy more than the Mister. A few smaller pieces actually cooked to medium-rare/medium and still was tender, just not as much as the rare/medium-rare pieces.

We went to the Poway Farmer’s Market that morning to look for some greens to go with the bison. I saw some beautiful rainbow chard that I though would go really well with bison. I should have taken a picture of it before cooking it. Oops. But here’s a picture of it in the pan.

The red, yellow, orange and white stems were much more vibrant raw but you can still see a bit of the colors here. The leaves were so tender and was the perfect complement to the bison. I loved the garlic and onions with the chard. The recipe is below. I added a little more than the 2 tablespoon olive oil in the recipe (brain fart), which is why it looks a bit oily in the picture. Next time I’m only going to use 2 strips of bacon since I think that’s enough to season 1 bunch of chard. Of course you can leave out the bacon altogether to make this healthier.

As far as timing, I cooked the chard first, turning off the heat just as the leaves wilted. This allowed the leaves to continue cooking a bit without getting mushy while I grilled the bison kabobs.

Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed or pressed
1/2 cup chopped onions or shallots
1 bunch Swiss or Rainbow chard
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Wash the chard thoroughly, making sure all the dirt and sand are removed. Cut off tough ends of the stalk, if needed and discard ends. Slice the stems into 1-inch pieces and reserve. Stack the chard leaves into a pile. Roll together into a bundle and slice into 1/2-inch ribbons. With larger leaves, I like to cut them in half and then cut them into strips, makes for easier eating. 

Heat oil to a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until browned, rendering the fat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the chard stems and the stock, cook until the stock has mostly evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. The stems should be getting tender at this point.

Add the chard leaves and sauté until they are wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Don’t let the leaves get mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

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