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Wok-Smoked Bison [RECIPE]

Do you ever have a craving for a food that just HAS to be satisfied immediately? That’s how I was feeling last night, and my craving? Crispy Skin Smoked Duck! Two stores later, with slumped shoulders, I walked out defeated.. No fresh duck breasts to be found! I did however find a beautiful grass-fed Bison steak that I was committed to cook up as an alternative. Things have a way of working out for the best..

Wok-Smoked Bison
1 Bison Steak
1 Small Cauliflower
1-2 Golden Beets
1 Large Shallot
3 Cloves Garlic
1 bunch of Enoki Mushrooms
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Butter
1 sprig Thyme 

Smoking Mix-
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Long Grain Rice
3-4 Star Anise pieces
1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1 tsp Dried Thyme 

Garnish-
1 Bunch Frisee Greens
Micro Herbs
2 Radishes(sliced and pickled)
Good Oil and Vinegar

Sauce-
2 tbsp Acacia Syrup(or honey)
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar


Although this dish tasted amazing, I think, in retrospect, I could have left off the Enoki mushrooms, or perhaps plated the dish a little bit more carefully. Everything looked SO good, I just ended up throwing everything together and putting it into my face as quick as possible. The main components of this dish(Meat, Smoke, Beets, Cauliflower, Sauce) are fairly simple to execute. Feel free to run with it if you have other ideas of how to present the finished product.
 The first step is to pre-heat the oven to 350°, chop the beets and cauliflower, and toss them in olive oil and salt. I also included a few cloves of garlic to roast alongside.
 Line the bottom of a Wok or Large Pan with Aluminum Foil and the Smoke Mixture.
 You’ll need something to suspend above the smoking solution. I bent a small metal rack to fit into the Wok. Once you’ve got these in place, crank up the heat until you start to see smoke.
 Once there’s a nice amount of smoke, drop the meat on the rack and turn down the heat to Medium Low.
Cover with a lid rimmed in Aluminum Foil and smoke for about 20 minutes, flipping the steak halfway through. Keep an eye on the smoke and adjust the heat to make sure there’s always a decent amount of smoke inside, but it’s not too hot. After 20 minutes, remove the steak and set it aside.

At this point the steak will be smoked, but very lightly cooked. Get a pan screaming hot, add some oil, salt the steak, and drop it in, giving it a really good sear on each side.
 When the steak has been cooked for few minutes on each side, and is nicely crusted, add about 1 tbsp of butter and a sprig of thyme. Baste the steak for another minute with the butter and then take it out to rest.
Whoa! I know you want to eat this, but be sure to rest this beautiful, shiny piece of meat at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into it! In the mean time:

Sautee shallots in oil for a couple minutes and then toss in the Enoki Mushrooms and Garlic with some salt. Cook for just a couple minutes and remove from heat.
Toss together some Frisee greens with green herbs(I have micro sunflower greens). Dress with good olive oil and balsamic.
 Take the golden beets and cauliflower out of the oven. Now it’s time to eat!
 My first plating attempt was crowded and awful. Really, this is the perfect amount of meat and veggies. I dressed the meat with a gastrique made with Acacia Syrup(light honey will work), some cooking fat, and balsamic vinegar, cooked down a bit. I also sliced some radishes thin and pickled them briefly in Apple Cider Vinegar, Water, Sugar, Salt, Pepper and Corriander. They really helped to cut through the fattiness of the meat.

I was pleased with the amount of smokiness in the Bison. It wasn’t super aggressive, but it was definitely there. Wok-Smoked (insert meat here) is definitely a technique i’ll employ more often. What other dishes do you think would work well when smoked this way?