Serves 4 to 6
Here’s a classic Spanish recipe that lends itself well to ground bison or water buffalo. Bison is especially lean, so adding it to a sauce (such as in this recipe) gives it some extra moisture while providing a robust heartiness to the traditional picadillo.
In large sauté pan, heat oil. Add ground water buffalo or bison and season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry over medium heat, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, cooking until no longer pink.
Add onion and continue to sauté for 5 minutes, until onion is soft and meat is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in poblano pepper, jalapeno, tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice, vinegar or olive brine, and seasonings. Stir and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 more minutes until mixture is thickened. Stir in olives or capers. Add more seasonings, to taste, if you wish. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Serve spooned into leafy lettuce, warmed tacos, or on steamed rice or cauliflower rice. It’s delicious with cilantro and lime.
Tip: For additional flavour and colour, serve with dollops of sour cream, sliced avocado, and sweet buttered corn on the side.
This recipe is part of the Delicious Recipes for Ethical Meats collection.
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.