Farm to Table Flavor – Bison ‘n’ Bacon

There is a movement gaining momentum that is bringing the hungry masses and conscious grocers closer to their food source. It’s called farm to table and for some, that means actually dining on location through sponsored dinners. Those types of dinners can be both an educational opportunity and insight into a farmers world. For some retailers, it’s more about doing the diligent research and screening in order to bring their customers a more sustainable, quality product.

I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details and benefits of farm to table eating in this article. I will tell you, however, that I’m rapidly becoming a believer, if not for any of the numerous reasons other than great flavor. There’s something wonderfully fresh and vibrant about the flavors of close-to-home ingredients. One business trying to bring that experience closer to your table is newcomer to the block, The Ventura Meat Company.

The Ventura Meat Company is a new butcher shop in Ventura’s Midtown district, owned by Michael Buckley. Their focus is on sustainable, grass-fed, wild animals that are raised and produced as locally as possible. The other thing I like about them…they’re a true butcher shop focused on quality meat from primal cuts. Old school butcher shop like in the movies. No convenience store vibe. Now on to the stars of our title.

Although not our first visit, this weekend we made our first purchase from TVMC, lured in by a Facebook posting proclaiming that bison and ground bacon, among other unique offerings were now in stock. After some great Q&A with Michael and Dave about the pheasant that just arrived, we selected the bison tenderloin and a big scoop of ground bacon . Michael sliced off a quarter pound filet and we headed home for the evening. The following photos are a glimpse into our enjoyment. If you are looking for rich, distinct flavors for your next steak dinner, I suggest bison and smokey ground bacon. If you happen to live in or near Ventura, CA, stop in to see Michael and Dave for quality meats. They’re like sommeliers for your plate.

The star ingredients.

Sizzling up the salty, smokey ground bacon w/ a little garlic and olive oil. Tossed in the brussel sprouts. Finished the dish w/ a little apple cider vinegar, pepper and lemon juice.

The bison is super lean, yet very tender. In terms of flavor, it is reminiscent of high-end beef, rich and mineraly w/ subtle sweet and gamey notes.

The finished plate.

*Find The Ventura Meat Company at www.theventurameatcompany.com, on Facebook and on Twitter @vtameatco.

Don’t live near Ventura? Can’t find bison where you live? Try www.LegacyOutdoors.com/game. They’ll ship directly to you. There is a one-time delivery fee of $29.99, but that includes a reusable cooler packed w/ dry ice and a bison cookbook for inspiration.

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4 Responses to Farm to Table Flavor – Bison ‘n’ Bacon

  1. Michael says:

    What a great idea with the ground bacon. This all looks delicious.

  2. Yohan says:

    Nice article. wild, or domesticated farm raised “wild” sounds like a nice deviation from the standard, chicken, pork, beef staples. Are the prices comparable to the average market?

    • j. Hendrick says:

      Prices are a little higher than the average beef market, but you’re paying for a better quality meat jammed full of flavor produced by natural grass feeding. We found that a smaller portion than normal was plenty considering the enhanced quality, which helped offset the potential in increased cost.

  3. We had the bison ribeye last night from Ventura Meat Company. I brushed it with olive oil, ground pepper and salt and grilled it to medium rare. We served it with sautéed green beans with garlic and sweet potato fries. I am sold on bison meat! It was delicious – tender and flavorful but definitely not gamy. Hopefully we’ll run into each other again at the butcher shop – I am buying all my meats from there now ;).

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