Durham Ranch bison ribs right out of the smoker.
Love the brawny taste of beef, but feeling a tad guilty about all that fat and cholesterol that go along with it?
Then, take a taste of bison.
Buffalo meat has much the same satisfying flavor, but with less fat and cholesterol, as well as fewer calories. Consider that a 3.5-ounce serving of choice beef has nearly 19 grams of fat, while the same portion of bison has just 2.42 grams. The bison also has more iron, B-12 and protein.
I admit I’ve eaten far more beef than bison, simply because it’s easier to find in most stores. So, I jumped at the chance when Durham Ranch of Wyoming offered to send me some samples to try.
The 55,000-acre ranch was started in 1965 by Armando Flocchini, a former butcher in San Francisco. It remains one of the largest bison ranches in North America.
Three sauces at the ready at Black Bark BBQ in San Francisco.
On his many walks around San Francisco’s Fillmore District, Chef David Lawrence remembers stumbling upon an intriguing sign imprinted in the sidewalk across the street from his elegant 1300 on Fillmore restaurant.
It read: Kansas City Hickory Pit Bar-B-Cue, 1335 Fillmore.
The long-gone business hinted at the Fillmore’s past as a neighborhood where barbecue once reigned, including in spots such as at 1911 Fillmore St., the former site of Leon’s Bar-B-Q, and now home to the celebrated SPQR.
In much the same way that Lawrence and his wife Monetta White brought back a stylish jazz supper club feel with 1300 on Fillmore to this neighborhood that historically attracted black artists and musicians, they sought to return a vestige of delicious smoke and fire to the neighborhood.
Owners Monetta White and David Lawrence.
In January, they did just that — opening their second restaurant, Black Bark BBQ, right in front of the old Kansas City sign that first piqued their interest.
A bone-in ham to put all others to shame. From Snake River Farms.
I often keep old Christmas cards, and sometimes the gently-used ribbons and bows, too.
But one thing I make a point never to discard is something all together different.
From the Thanksgiving turkey. From the Christmas ham.
They are always wrapped carefully with aluminum foil, then tucked inside a heavy-duty plastic bag in a safe place in my freezer.
That’s when I take them out for their intended purpose, one that I look forward to every year after the holiday season.
Not your usual turkey.
Call me crazy, but I guess I am one of the few people out there who actually likes to eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
After all, if you take the time and spend the money to acquire one that’s pasture-raised, possibly even of heritage breed background, and cook it right, you are richly rewarded with meal upon meal of relatively lean, flavorful meat, and a large carcass just made for making gallons of soup.
Which is probably why I have never cooked a turducken.
Take a taste of Sopressata Calabrese.
Brothers Steven and Eric are the fourth generation of Bavas to hand-craft a spicy Italian dry salami specialty known as sopressata Calabrese.
Their grandfather brought the recipe to America after immigrating to Chicago from the small mountain town of Simbario in Calabria, Italy. Every winter following Christmas, the whole family gathered to whip up a batch, which would then be served at every special family occasion throughout the year.
Now, the brothers are making that same cured sausage in small batches in Los Angeles and selling it via a small select group of retail stores.
Recently, I had a chance to try Bavas Brothers Sopressata Calabrese.
Deep ruby red, the squat sausage is firm and chewy. It’s full of sweet porkiness, along with a good jolt of peppery spice that builds the more you chew.