Indigenous Inspiration: Smoked Bison Carpaccio


“I have a philosophy rather than a culinary style; it’s about the relationship that we have with the terroir and the land and being in tune with Mother Nature. Animals are more than food, for my Nation they are spirit animals and have many layers of significance, not just nourishment. In the Indigenous way of life, we are taught to respect animals, and eating them is not our right, it’s a privilege.

Bison is very special and sacred to us, traditionally we’d use every aspect of that for survival to show that it didn’t sacrifice in vain; we’d use its bones to make for tools for hunting, its hide to make clothes, everything. If you eat it there are massive health benefits—it has almost seven times more protein and 85% less fat than ground beef! Here’s one of my favourite bison recipes, which is still easy to make at home and everyone will love.”

-Bill Alexander, Executive Chef at Little Chief Restaurant, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino.

Smoked Bison Carpaccio

Ingredients

Carpaccio & Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1 Bison Striploin
  • (cleaned & trimmed)
  • 100 g Brown Sugar
  • 100 g Salt
  • 2 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ground Juniper
  • 25 ml Liquid Smoke

Charred Shallot Aioli

  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 150 ml Dijon
  • 30 ml Lemon Juice
  • 100 ml White Vinegar
  • 700 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 8 Charred Shallots
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Garnish
  • 1.5 oz Grana Padano Cheese
  • (shaved into long strips with peeler)
  • Saskatoon Berries
  • Lemon Zest (grated over top)
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Method

Carpaccio

  • Mix together sugar, salt, pepper, juniper until evenly blended.
  • Then add in liquid smoke and mix to a fine paste.
  • Evenly spread paste over bison striploin and let sit in fridge for 12 hours.
  • Remove from fridge, do a quick wash to remove dry rub ingredients. Then pat dry.
  • Lightly sear each side of the striploin on high heat for 30 seconds. (Best in a cast iron pan).
  • Place seared bison striploin in freezer for 1 hour (this will help firm up to slice).
  • Remove from freezer 10 min before wanting to serve. Then with a sharp knife slice the carpaccio to desired thickness and begin to place around the serving platter in a single layer (these will thaw very quickly after sliced).

Charred Shallot Aioli

  • Char shallots in sautée pan until blackened.
  • Puree shallots with egg yolks.
  • Make standard aioli by slowly adding in vegetable oil into egg yolk and shallot puree.
  • Then add white vinegar to thin out thick puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and lemon juice.

Final Plating & Garnish

After slicing and placing carpaccio on a platter, sprinkle smoked paprika over top, with fresh black pepper, and grated lemon zest.

Then top with saskatoon berries and place dollops of charred shallot aioli evenly over the carpaccio. Finish with shaved grana padano cheese. Serve with taro root chips, crostini, or crackers. My favourite is bannock crisps!



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