Friday, 12 October 2012

Sunday Dinner with Chef Simon [oct 12]

SaskMade Marketplace would like to welcome the esteemed Chef Simon of Simon's Fine Foods in Saskatoon for a new post series here on our blog. Sunday dinners have become a rare and treasured time for families to make time for each other, make meals to remember, and make memories to last a lifetime. Chef Simon will be bringing you inspiration and instruction for your own Sunday meal, using local Saskatchewan ingredients and European inspiration.

Boneless BBQ Wild Boar side ribs, pearl barley and wild mushroom risotto

This month’s dish is inspired by the weather getting cooler, but still longing for those BBQ days of summer.

People who love to barbeque do so all year round, whatever the weather, but if you want an indoor version then this a great way to achieve a similar product in the oven.

I thought about putting pumpkin somewhere in the dish and you can of course add some to your recipe, but I’m already getting pumpkin fatigue so I went down the road of local carrots and dried wild mushrooms to add depth to my dish.

Firstly, I do want to mention that I’m used to making all my food from scratch so when I design a recipe, one of the most important things is the taste test. This is one of the things I really like about SaskMade - they actually have samples of most of the products they sell for tasting, which makes life much easier when purchasing a new product.

I actually tasted a couple of products that day; one just didn’t quite fit for this dish and the other was the BBQ sauce which tasted very similar to one I make so this was a great fit.

Golden Prairie Wild Boar side ribs: Wild Boar meat is a darker leaner version of domestic pork and the taste really depends on what the animal has foraged but generally it’s a little gamier than pork. The side ribs are generally tougher than the back ribs so just need a little more cooking time.

Prairie Infusions
: Porcini and Chanterelles both dried, Porcinis have a chewy texture and a strong nutty-woodsy, sweet, and meaty taste. Chanterelles have a fruity and nutty taste with a little peppery note. Drying actually increases the taste of mushrooms and they work great in the barley risotto.

Living Soil Farms
: Carrots which are a good size, but still tender and sweet.

Floating Gardens Greenhouse: Hydroponic produce giving me fresh Oregano, Dill and Italian flat leaf parsley.

Barrs BBQ sauce
: Very tasty and I can recognize all the ingredients
Willow Creek : Pearl Barley which is very common in the UK and classically used in Lamb stew and broths.

  • 3 packages of Wild Boar Ribs
  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • 1 bag dried Porcini mushrooms
  • ½ bag dried Chanterelles
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 5 cups chicken stock (canned or homemade)
  • 2tbsp Canola oil
  • 2tbsp soft butter
  • 6tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 4tbsp fresh chopped Oregano
  • 2tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 6tbsp BBQ sauce
  • Salt and pepper

    • Firstly you need to remove all the membranes and cut the rib in half for ease of use.
    • Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil and a sheet of baking parchment (1 pouch per packet of ribs)
    • Lay the fresh thyme on the paper and one packet of ribs; place the ribs meat side up.
    • Bring the edges of the foil together to make a pouch then add 2 cups of apple juice to each pouch and seal tightly.
    • Place on a baking tray and into a preheated oven at 325 for 2-2.5 hours till the meat is very tender.
    • Once cooked you can allow them to cool then refrigerate for up to 3 days allowing you to do the prep the day before.
    • While hot remove the meat and place into a bowl. (you can leave the meat on the bone and just brush with BBQ sauce)
    • Add the BBQ sauce and mix well then place the meat on a clean tray and broil or roast for 2 minutes until lightly caramelized.
    • While the meat is cooking you make the barley risotto
    • In a thick bottomed pot add the canola oil and butter and soften the diced carrot and onion
    • Next add the garlic, barley and dried mushrooms and 5 cups of chicken stock.
    • Bring to the boil and simmer stirring occasionally until the barley is tender.
    • Finally add the fresh chopped parsley, dill and oregano and taste, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
    • Serve with the BBQ meat on top of the risotto.

    Wild Boar is a great option to the home repertoire, and is perfect for long and slow cooking techniques. Combined with barley, it’s a delicious meal for cold autumn evenings and add a glass of your favourite red wine - wow!

    Wednesday, 3 October 2012

    [product feature] Spelt and Millet: Ancient grains for today’s healthy diet

    When I was growing up, whole wheat flour and rice were exotic options. Now we have a whole range of intriguing choices – buckwheat, spelt, millet, kamut – the list goes on and on. My problem is that I don’t know very much about some of these grains, so I arranged a phone call with Nicole Davis, the Owner/Manager of Daybreak Mill near Estevan.

    Daybreak Mill grows and processes approximately 18 different kinds of flour, whole and de-hulled grains, flakes, cereals, and legumes. They are 100% organic. “We want people to have access to healthy, wholesome food,” Nicole explains.

    Two of Daybreak’s products – spelt and millet – have been nourishing people around the world for over 9,000 years.



    Spelt was cultivated by ancient civilizations in Europe and the Middle East for thousands of years. It grows well in poor soil and doesn’t require fertilizer. It’s resistant to frost and the thick husk protects the grain from insects. However, spelt requires more processing than wheat as the hull must be removed.

    There are, however, advantages to eating spelt. It has more protein than wheat and contains a different form of gluten that is easier to digest.

    Daybreak has been growing spelt since 2003, and it’s their most popular product. “It has a high moisture content and makes a light, moist loaf,” Nicole says.

    They also sell spelt flakes and whole grain. Spelt flour is one of the main ingredients in Daybreak’s Sunrise pancake mix.



    Millet is a member of the corn family with long, broad leaves. Daybreak grows a very old variety of millet that came from the Ukraine. “We call it Alvin’s Millet,” Nicole says, “after Alvin Scheresky, one of the first organic farmers in North America and the original owner of the farm and mill.”

    In North America, millet is primarily used for bird seed, but it’s the sixth most important cereal grain in the world, sustaining more than one third of the world’s population. Millet has a short growing season and grows well in hot, dry conditions. It also stores well, so it’s often set aside in case of famine.

    Millet is gluten-free. Its protein content is similar to wheat and corn, and it’s rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron and zinc.

    Millet is one of the main ingredients in Daystart cereal, which also contains buckwheat, oat bran, sunflower seeds and brown flax.


    Did you know?

    • There are references to both millet and spelt in the Bible (Ezekiel 4.9, Isaiah 28:25).
    • In 1850, 94% of the cereal acreage in one region of Germany was planted with spelt. Only 5% was producing wheat for bread.
    • Sweet millet porridge is a popular dish in Russia and Germany.
    • Millet is fermented to make beer in Taiwan, pombe in East Africa, and a distilled liquor called rakshi in Nepal.
    • Daybreak Mill has a wide assortment of processing equipment to handle all its different crops. Millet seeds are much smaller than grains of spelt, so they require a different de-huller. The spelt flakes are processed using an old roller mill.
    - by Penny McKinlay, Wanderlust and Words (