Since relocating to the lovely, tax-free land of New Hampshire from Boston, I've learned that there are some advantages to living in what the average person would view as a "more country-like setting." Yes, I have to plan pilgrimages down to to Boston for stops at some of my favorite food vendors, but there are a few hidden gems up here that I never would have thought to explore prior to living amongst them.
Deep in the heart of Chicester, New Hampshire (that's next to Concord to give a more well known vantage point) is a fabulous little shop called The Healthy Buffalo. When you walk in, you feel as though you're walking into a revamp of someone's living room (probably because you are) full of freezers, refrigeration units and a giant black board listing all of the game meats and cuts they have available. Ever tried kangaroo? How about elk or wild boar? Turtle? Duck? Ostrich? They have them all... and a lot more. You can purchase bison meat cut into every major steak variety... including my personal favorite, short ribs. Oh rib meat... how I love thee and your fall of the bone, slow cooked, juicy deliciousness. Bison short rib has a similar texture to beef, however it's significantly leaner so you get less of an oily coating in your mouth when you eat it. It does have a slightly gamey flavor, but nothing overpowering that would detract from the basis of why you'd be eating short ribs in the first place. They also have an amazing array of house-made sausages using various game meats combined with liqueurs, fruits, vegetables and spices to give them a really unique flavor. They even offer samples of some of their products on Saturdays and Sundays.
On our most recent trip, we picked up 2 lbs of short ribs to make for a dinner party we were hosting that week. Now that I'm back to working a full time job, I don't have time to slow braise meat for 12 hours in the oven anymore during the week and needed a simpler solution to achieving that fall-off-the-bone tenderness... enter the crockpot! I love my crockpot. It's a fabulous tool to have in any kitchen with almost endless possibilities. The best part... set it and forget it. First thing in the morning, I combined my short rib meat with 1 bottle of full bodied Cabernet (you don't have to use anything pricey, just something you wouldn't mind drinking), 3 cups of veal stock, fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage and basil) and a mirepois of diced carrots, onions, celery and vine ripened tomatoes. Give it a stir and let it simmer for the next 8 to 10 hours for a perfectly delicious entree.
Check out The Healthy Buffalo online at www.healthybuffalo.com. If you're outside the Greater New Hampshire area, guest what... they ship their products! Bon apetite!