Advice on Bison: Stepping Up Your Game On Wild Game


Scenario: you went out with the couple from your neighborhood, you stepped away from free range pork and got adventurous with a shared plate of bison sliders paired with a delightful Pinot Noir; they were to die for. The following week you picked up bison meat because it’s hard to find at times, and now you’re entertaining guests in a couple days. You’re admittedly clueless about this meat and it’s starting to cause actual kitchen nightmares.

If this sounds like an exaggeration, it’s not terribly far off. Cooking game meat isn’t something most people do in their own kitchens on a regular basis. It requires certain different considerations that can be overlooked even with free range pork, grass fed beef, and wild caught Alaskan salmon. Fortunately, once you’ve learned to properly prepare bison, similar strategies can be applied to a range of different wild game meats.

Enough of the introduction to Bison Meat, you have guests to serve so let’s get started.

Lean with it

Hold up there, Gordon Ramsay, don’t go slapping that bison steak on the grill just yet. A three-ounce bison steak serving boasts a lean 122 calories with a whopping 24.2 grams of protein. It’s a fabulous alternative to cooking beef, but it is not beef and shouldn’t be cooked like it. Beef is raised into having fatty, marbled meat (even grass fed steaks). In the wild, there’s no such regulation and the result is much leaner meat that cooks a lot faster. If you cook bison like a free range pork chop or your favorite beef cut, you might over cook the protein.

Slow and low wins with bison. The same theory can be applied to several other wild game meats.

Mind the flavor

Our palates are used to pretty specific flavors. While bison is incredibly delicious, the flavor is mildly different. More intense in comparison with domesticated animal meat, many people love the flavor and find everything else boring, while others find it overpowering our Bison is delicious and you’ll love it. A way to ease yourself and your guests into it is a ground mixture of bison and beef. Sometimes putting bison meat into dishes with other bold flavors helps to blend intensities. Different is delicious, but the process should be considered before plating an entire dinner party.

Don’t fear the wild, you’ve got the chops to lay down five stars at your game dinner. Fortune flavors the bold and with bison, you’ve got all of that and more.

Wild-Caught Salmon With Ginger Glaze

Home Again Meals

Wild Caught Salmon With Ginger Glaze

Consider this easy recipe for your Lenten seafood meals this month. Wild caught salmon brings you so many health benefits. Here’s what you’ll need:

(4) 6 oz Wild caught salmon fillets, skinned
(1/4) Cup packed brown sugar
(2) Tbsp Dijon mustard
(1) Tbsp grated fresh or 1 tsp ground ginger
(1/2) Tsp salt
(1/2) Tsp freshly ground black pepper
(1/4) Cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat broiler to 500 degrees. Coat rack of broiler pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, whisk sugar, mustard, ginger and nuts. Season both sides of fillets with salt and pepper. Place salmon on broiler rack and brush glaze on top. Broil (6” from heat) for 8-10 minutes or until fish is lightly browned. Serve each fillet on top of a lightly dressed mixed green salad or with rice and vegetables. Used with permission from Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood Company.

Baked Reuben Dip

Home Again Meals

Baked Reuben Dip

This new take on a St. Patrick’s Day favorite needs to be on your menu. Here’s what you’ll need:

9 oz. Cooked Corned Beef, sliced and diced
1 1/4 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese, divided
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Thousand Island dressing
1 Cup Sauerkraut, with some of the juice
Rye party bread or your favorite crackers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the corned beef, 1 cup of Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut. Evenly spread the dip into a casserole dish, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Serve hot with rye bread or crackers.


Online Gifting – The Meat Edition



Online gifting is something that is quickly becoming a way of life. In the past companies have made a whole business out of catalog mail order systems, but today it is even easier. According to The Washington Post a third of American adults buy something online with their computer or phone at least once a week. Having the ability to gift people and have it arrive safely at their home or office is now available at the touch of your fingertip. It is a perfect way to send friends, family, employees and clients gifts for any occasion, and what better gift for that occasion than meat? The improvements in shipping have made it possible to ship meat that is frozen and packed with dry ice in an insulated box all over the country!


As an employer, what can you get employees that shows them that says you care about them? Or what can you give clients that goes above and beyond what they might normally expect? Sending someone a gift card is okay, but they go out to eat once and that is all the use that they get out of the gift. However, when you send someone a box of meat they will remember you every time they go in their freezer, grill, cook, and eat. There is no better way to show your appreciation to the ones you care about than sending them something that they will truly enjoy. And what better way to remind your clients of your services and company for a long time.


With technology ordering meat online is very simple. Companies have created fast, user friendly, and secure websites where you can shop in minutes. Most of the time these websites are set up for either two different meat delivery methods. The first method is just being able to purchase when the meat is needed: ordering online just when you want to send a gift, need steaks, have to fill the freezer, or you’re having a cook-out. This method provides the consumer with the means to order when it is convenient for them and does not tie them down to a contract. The second method is a subscription based meat delivery. A subscription based method gives the consumer the luxury of not thinking about when they need meat; it just shows up at their door. However, this might overwhelm the consumer because they have to eat last month’s subscription before the new one arrives or they may have to get a bigger freezer.

Happy Pigs Produce The Best Pork Chop


The Pork Chop

The beginning of any great pork chop recipe is in fact a great pork chop. A great pork chop can go a long way for dinner because there are so many options. There are different marinades, rubs, barbecue sauces, gravies, and an endless amount of cooking possibilities for your pork chop. But where did it all start? It started with the pig itself. A pig that has lived a healthy and stress-free life is more likely to produce tender and flavorful meat. When an animal is under stress, their body produces more stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which causes their meat to be a little tougher and less tender. So, if an animal lives a stress-free lifestyle, they are more likely to produce tender meat. Tenderness is a key factor when serving any meat, especially a pork chop.


A pig that has lived a stress-free lifestyle most likely came from a farm where they could roam and be free-ranging pigs. According to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, “A free-range piggery is one in which the pig herd is rotated on pastures or cropland.” Many people who are not in the pig industry have never seen a pig run; their only thought of a pig is this huge, lazy animal. On the contrary, pigs are natural runners. Pigs with space to run and move around require a lot of work by the farmer. Many farmers that desire the best meat producing pigs are willing to put in the work and have a free-range style piggery. This way of farming becomes their lifestyle.

Where to get free-range pork

In today’s day and age you can buy pork online, you can even buy free-range pork online. Buying pork online is something that is becoming more and more popular. With large amounts of people moving to the cities, there is no longer a connection between the consumer and the farmer. That connection is very valuable because it lets the consumer know how the animal was raised and where the animal was processed, essentially letting the consumer know where their food is coming from. When you buy pork online you can browse around the website, look at videos, and even email the farmer to know exactly where your pork is coming from. This enables people from all over to become connected with and have that relationship with their farmer like they did generations ago.

Planning A Barbecue? Here’s Why You Should Marinate Your Meat


Whether you’ve attained grill mastery or you’re just starting out, there’s one step in your meat preparation that you should never forget: marinating. Not only does it allow you some creative flair with your grilling, it holds a host of other benefits too. And you might not even expect some of them! Keep reading to find out what they are.


Above all else, marinating enhances the flavor of any meat. When you buy grass-fed steaks or wild caught Alaskan salmon, you’re already guaranteed quality. But marinating can help bring out the flavor of your meat while adding some light seasoning to it. Grass fed beef already has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a nice flavor, but a little marinating never hurt anyone. And your choices of herbs and oils are practically limitless!


One of the greatest things about marinating is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as olive oil, lemon juice, and a few basic spices. More experienced or specialty chefs may get a little bit more complex in their recipes, especially for dry rubs, but that’s the beauty of marinating. You can make it whatever you like. Whether you buy grass fed steaks, free range pork, or any other type of meat from local meat farmers, a marinade can help you make it your own.


Believe it or not, there’s actually scientific evidence that marinating is good for you. When cooked at high temperatures, meat can produce Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs). But according to a 2007 study from researchers at Kansas State University, marinating meat can inhibit HCAs from forming. Of course, that doesn’t mean all of the other health precautions around meat can be ignored. Make sure you’re still working on a clean surface and that you disinfect all of your tools after you’ve finished working with the raw meat.

When you buy grass fed steaks online or in a store, you should already have your cooking plan in mind. And if it’s grilling, a marinade is key! What are you waiting for? Grilling season is starting and it’s time to get those marinades ready.

New Beef Bundles Available Now

Coming to Freezers Near You

Looking for something different to do with your tax return this year? Available for limited time only (until March 31)  are two unique beef bundles. These bundles are ready in-store at your convenience, and perfect for filling your freezers for family meals. Both options are all natural meats raised with no antibiotics, growth hormones, or animal by-products.

What You’re Getting

Wagyu Beef Bundle:

Approximately 25 pounds of highly marbled, locally raised American Wagyu beef that is the ultimate in taste and texture.

(2) 2 lb. Chuck Roast
(1) 2 lb. Rolled Rump Roast
(2) 1 lb. Stew Meat
(4) 5 oz. Swiss Steak from Round
(10) 1 lb. Ground Beef Squares
5) 1 lb. Patties (1/3rd, 3 per package)

Sale Price: $189 (Save $20)

100% Grass-Fed Beef Bundle:

Approximately 25 pounds of locally raised grass-fed beef that is full of flavor and so good for you!

(2) 2 lb. Chuck Roast
(1) 2 lb. Rolled Rump Roast
(2) 1 lb. Stew Meat
(4) 5 oz. Swiss Steak from Round
(10) 1 lb. Ground Beef Squares
(5) 1 lb. Patties (1/3rd, 3 per package)

Sale Price: $169 (Save $20)

Want More Options?

Stop in to check out some of our other offers in store, see our monthly specials, or find us at HarvestBox.  We know that you will find something you like!


Creating Something Different

HarvestBox was started in June of 2015 at Byron Center Meats, a third generation, family-owned & operated meat processing company. The idea started when we asked ourselves, “is there a better way to connect families directly with family-owned farms, giving them an avenue to easily purchase thoughtfully raised, healthy meats?” Or as we like to say, “a better way to eat.”

(Then we got to work, and created a video!)

From there, we watered the idea until it came to life. We began to think, how can we deliver products conveniently, safely, and sustainably all throughout the US. We’ve taken the 70 years of meat processing experience gained here at Byron Center Meats and created something new. We’ve brought to you a variety of meat bundles that use whole animal portions in a variety of cuts families will enjoy using every day.

Finally, we sought out long-lasting, trustworthy relationships with only the best family farm partners. Farmers who share our passion for thoughtfully raised, healthy meats. What started as a quick doodle on a napkin (not kidding) came a nation-wide meat delivery with consumers from nearly every state. Today, HarvestBox is a culmination of a lot of good people working hard to do something different in the name of doing something right. We wanted to bring consumers the ‘local meat market’ feel that we have here in Byron Center. (more…)