As one who visits a lot of restaurants, I have to say that Last March I ate one of the best things I've eaten so far this year and it didn't come from a commercial kitchen, but from the home BBQ Grill owned by a friend of mine. What was that dish, you may ask? Simply, it was an Applewood Smoked Bison Rib Roast and wow, it was tender, juicy and when eaten with a beet horseradish condiment that Michael had on hand, I was in heaven.
Even a few days later, I kept on thinking of that that bison rib roast and I knew I just had to share what went into this preparing this delicious cut of meat. First, it started off with the Bison Rib Roast itself, which he purchased from Lindner Bison. Apparently, you'll find them at the Hollywood and Santa Monica Farmers Markets on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, respectively. They specialize in selling different cuts of bison from roasts to steaks to burger patties and more. What was also special about their bison is that it was grass-fed and from reading their website, it looks like they were also humanely raised.
When it was time to prepare the bison, Michael first took it out of the refrigerator to let it sit for about 30 minutes to bring the meat to room temperature. After he started the fire at the grill, he brushed a mixture of olive oil, garlic and rosemary over the roast. Then he finished it off with a sprinkle of black pepper and kosher salt.
As for the the grill, Michael stacked half of the grill with the applewood and kept the other side clear for the bison. The reason Michael chose applewood was because of the flavor the smoke imparts to the roast. Another tidbit to know is that the applewood will cook longer and produce more fragrant smoke if it's still fairly green; however, having said that, green wood does not burn easily. A simple solution is to lay the wood over charcoal. Since charcoal was easy to light, it burned long and hot enough to ignite the applewood on top.
When there was enough smoke, Michael put the roast on the grill and inserted a meat thermometer into it. He kept the grill vents about halfway open to in order to keep the fire going but to also keep more smoke under the lid. Wanting to cook the roast rare, he aimed for an internal temperature of 130 degrees F before removing it.
Detailed that he is, Michael kept notes on the temperature of the bison as it cooked over time. He started cooking the roast at noon and at 1:00, the meat thermometer registered 67 degrees. At 1:30, it shot up to 90 degrees. At 2:00 and 2:30, the temps went to 111 degrees and 125 degree, respectively. Finally, at 2:45 the thermometer read 130 degrees and he removed the roast from the grill. Then he let it rest on a cutting board under a sheet of aluminum foil for 20 to 30 minutes.
When it was done resting, Michael broke out the carving knife and started cutting into it for all of us to enjoy. I wish I had a pretty photo of it on a plate surrounded by the some of the side dishes everyone brought, but I think the shots at the link provided below will be enough to make you drool. Heck, I'm looking at the photos and wish I had more.
In the end and I'll say it again, this Applewood Smoked Bison Rib Roast truly was one of the best things I've eaten so far this year. So I thank you and my tastebuds thank you, Michael, for inviting me to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the next time you decide to prepare another bison dish, I promise not to be late.
For info on Lindner Bison, their website is below:
To see post with photos, go to: