Black Garlic & Rosemary Bison Paprikash
Fall brings cool loamy scented breezes that whisper of ancient harvests. In fact, the harvest moon was the full moon that ushered in the fall. The bright moon was used by farmers in the time before electricity, to harvest their crops late into the night. At the end of working a long day into the cold autumn night, a warm hearty stew would be a welcome reward. The change in the weather can stir those memories with deep roots and call to us to the dinner table with the same refrain. This stew features black garlic.
Black, or fermented, garlic is one of the most well-known, fastest growing in popularity, functional foods in the marketplace. Unlike raw garlic, black garlic has a jet black color, sweet taste reminiscent of molasses, and chewy texture without the offensive odor. Moreover, several bioactivities of black garlic including anticancer, anti-obesity, immunomodulatory, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective effects have been documented.
As noted in a review article:
The people from Asian countries such as Thailand, South Korea, and Japan have produced and used black garlic as a traditional food for centuries, but it has been introduced into global market in recent decades. In brief, black garlic is produced by fermentation of whole bulb of fresh garlic at high humidity and temperature which in turn results in garlic to turn black via a set of nonenzymatic browning reactions, including Maillard reaction, oxidation of phenols, and caramelizing. When garlic undergoes fermentation, not only physiochemical characteristics of garlic are altered, but also the concentration of bioactive compounds is also improved [Kimura S, Tung YC, Pan MH, Su NW, Lai YJ, Cheng KC. Black garlic: A critical review of its production, bioactivity, and application. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2017;25(1):62-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.jfda.2016.11.003].
The flavors of the fermented black garlic, rosemary, and paprika in this dish yield an exciting new flavor profile with familiar groundings.
• 1.5-2 kg (~3 to 4 pounds) bison, preferably Sirloin tip cut into 2-3 cm (~1-inch bits)
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 1 sprig each fresh thyme and oregano
• 250 mL (~1 cup) red wine
• 25 mL (~¼ cup) balsamic vinegar
• 2 heads black garlic, roughly chopped
• 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
• 6 g (1 tsp.) salt
• 5 mL (~1 Tbs.) neutral oil, (like avocado, preferably organic)
• 5 mL (~ 1 Tbs.) olive oil
• 40 g (~3 Tbs.) unsalted butter
• 25 ml (~¼ cup) additional red wine
• 2 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 head black garlic, peeled and minced
• 60 g (~ ¼ cup) Hungarian paprika, sweet or hot, or a combination
• 1 kg (~2.2 pounds) fresh tomatoes, chopped
• 250 mL (~1 cup) chicken broth, homemade or, if not, low-sodium
• ¾ cup sour cream
Combine the bison, herbs, wine, vinegar, garlic, onion, salt, and oil in a container and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. If you don’t have bison, you can substitute the same cut of grass-finished beef. If you can’t find black fermented garlic, you may substitute a head of black garlic with a head of roasted garlic plus 10 g (~1½ tsp) of molasses.
Remove the bison from the marinade and pat dry. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy, oven-safe sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Wait until the butter has stopped foaming and begins to lightly turn brown and has a nutty aroma. Sear the bison in batches until nicely seared on both sides. Remove bison and set aside.
Pour off all but small bit of the accumulated fat (if there is any excess) in the pot. Return the pot to the stove, over medium heat, and add the wine; de-glazing the pot. Add the onion. Cook for about 15 min until lightly caramelized. Add the garlic, and stir again, cooking it until it has softened and broken down, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and stir well to combine, then cook until the mixture is fragrant, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and broth, stirring to combine well. Allow to cook at a simmer over low heat until reduced by a third and the sauce has thickened. Remove a third of the sauce and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth and add back to the pot. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until the desired consistency is reached. Place the bison back in the pot, and cook for another approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
To serve, remove the bison and slice thinly on the bias. Add the sour cream to the sauce. Place noodles, potatoes, polenta or other base starch down and ladle the sauce over the top. Arrange sliced bison on top.