Pan-Roasted Bison with Sea Salt and Parmesan Sweet Potato Oven Fries

While shopping at the St Lawrence Market I visited White House Meats and picked up a couple of Bison Rib-Eye steaks at my wife, L’s, request. She heard that Bison was lower in fat and calories as well as having more nutrients than a lot of other meats. White House was clearly the place to go, it’s been around since 1953 and is quickly becoming one of my favourite and more challenging places to shop at the Market. I can easily walk away with a product that I have no idea how to cook; ostrich, rabbit, venison...etc.

So, along with my usual free-range capon for my Sunday chicken roast (from Mano’s), a pack of free-range chicken legs and a couple of skinless chicken breasts from Clement Poultry, I had the two 10 oz Bison Rib-Eyes weighing me down along with eggs, kefir, morels, salt (Île de Ré salt from Andrea Brockie, owner of Selsi Sea Rocks) and a plentiful horn of vegetables hanging from canvas bags (all this with only a peameal bacon sandwich for sustenance). Imagine my surprise when I found out that the street outside the market is alive and wiggly with dogs. Woofstock A Festival For Dogs is an wonderful event...that is unless you are draped in meat. I had every dog in a ten foot radius nuzzling my bags as I shimmied and shuffled trying to get clear without causing a fuss. I stopped only for a second when I came face to face with two gargantuan heads peering at me from over the Great Dane pen. Muzzles all spit-webbed, they just stared blankly at me with a wild sort of, what I knew to be, hunger. With much haste I quickly made my way north to Queen Street, meat swinging heavily.

After getting home I took inventory to make sure all my meat was still there then got online to learn about my Bison. Century Game Park is located in the Northumberland Hills County in Warkworth, Ontario. Rod J. Potter’s great-great-grandfather settled the land Century Game Park is on now. That makes him the fifth generation to live on the family land. 20 years ago Potter got into raising and selling bison meat and in 1992 elk. It’s said that his farm now boasts 75 bison and 18 elk. The bison and elk graze naturally around an environmental grass farm with wetland area and beaver pond. He has a holistic approach to farming and his chemical-free meat routinely appears on the menus of restaurants around the GTA. Bison and elk meat is growing in popularity in general. As I said earlier the reason for the meats’ popularity is not only because of the taste, but they’re high in protein and low in fat. It is great that there are people out there like Potter bringing this magnificent animal back from the brink of extinction to great numbers seen today. Oh, and the Bison tasted amazing. L said afterward that if she were not told what she had just eaten she would say it was really good quality steak. I was curious to find out what kind of bison I was dealing with but unfortunately my email to them was never answered. I hope that means business is good.



3 organic sweet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, halves cut lengthwise into wedges
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp Île de Ré sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 x 10 oz pieces bison, rib eye
4 pieces long pepper (or fresh ground black pepper)
1 cloves garlic, crushed
Île de Ré sea salt (or coarse sea salt)
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbsp peanut oil


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F / Gas Mark 7 / 220 C with heating the oven put a baking sheet in the for at least 5 minutes until it is very hot.

2. While the baking sheet is heating, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Then dump the potatoes out onto the hot baking sheet, spreading to a single layer. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the sweet potatos are brown and crispy. Toss the fries in a big bowl with the parsley and cheese. Cover with foil to keep warm until ready to use.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F / gas mark 6 / 200 C.

2. In a mortar and pestle finely grind the long pepper, then add the garlic and thyme and pound into a paste.

3. Rub the bison steaks with the paste and put aside for an hour to allow the mixture to soak in.

4. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil, season steaks with sea salt and when the oil just starts to smoke add steaks. Sear them for 4 minutes per side and then place them into the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes or until steaks are cooked to medium-rare. Take steaks out of skillet and keep warm until ready to serve.