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5 Things Feature: Corned Bison

This week’s all about Corned Bison. With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Tuesday, we anticipate a lot of Sunday slow-cookings of corned meats, potatoes, cabbage, and such, amongst Irish-American and Irish-American adjacent families and St. Patty’s enthusiasts alike.

Since it’s been a busy week for our business, this 5 Things we’ll forego the retrospective on our week—or abridge it: it was busy, we’re a little short on staff and still looking to hire some cool, hardworking individuals. Send resumes to greg@nwsmokehaus.com—and instead answer a few common questions about our Corned Bison.

What does “corned” even mean and how many cobs are involved?

“Corned” refers to treatment of meat with “corns” of large-grain rock salt, often with other spices such as coriander, cinnamon, mustard seed, ginger, and the like. Unfortunately, there are zero cobs involved, unless you’re making the stock for a corned bison and sauerkraut soup. If so, cobs away!

Fun fact: our Corned Bison is one of a small handful of our meat products that never touch the smoker. After it cures for several days, it is instead cooked in our Alto-Shaam oven, which is designed to hold moisture and maintain exact temperatures for a long time.

Why corned bison?

Bison is delicious. Bison tastes wild and powerful and natural. It’s lower in cholesterol and higher in protein than beef. The bison we use comes from North American Bison. It’s hormone-free, antibiotic-free, regionally sourced from a cooperative of smaller, family-owned ranches, and the bison themselves live great lives and are humanely harvested.

How should I eat corned bison?

This would be a good start. Ignore the “beef” in the title—we used to primarily make bison pastrami and corned beef, but now we’ve flipped the script—this recipe is a great use of a whole shoulder of NWS Corned Bison. If you’re still thinking about cobs, I’d advise stripping an ear of corn of its kernels, then tossing both the kernels and the cob in with the bison and kraut. Remove cobs before serving.

Another option is something like this substituting corned bison for the Smoked Berkshire Ham. Trust us, it’ll be good.

If you want to skip the grueling work, you can enjoy a similar experience with our ‘06 sandwich with corned bison, in our deli, or via delivery, if you feel like staying home and avoiding the looming pandemic.

Where can I get a good deal on corned bison?

Glad you asked! We’re running a mail order special: Buy a whole shoulder of NWS Corned Bison and receive an included pound of our Hausmade Sauerkraut. It’s a perfect match.

Is there anything else I should be excited about, specifically referring to corned bison?

Wow, you’re just asking all of the questions I currently want to answer, and in an eerily similar fashion to the way I would phrase it. There is!

In a couple short months, we’ll be debuting a new corned bison sandwich, alongside an exciting (and secret! Don’t pry.) collaboration with our neighbors at (link to Duluth Pack website) Duluth Pack.


Now get out there (or stay in!) and have a safe, healthy weekend. You deserve it. And have a spooky Friday the 13th ⊂(≖.≖⊂ )∘˚˳°

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Corned bison with roasted beet salad

Reheat Smokehaus corned bison:

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F.

In deep roasting pan, place corned bison

Fill with water until the corned beef is submerged.

Cover and place the pan in the oven.

Check every 45 minutes to see if liquid needs replenishing and use a thermometer to temp the corned bison. 

Continue this process until internal temp reaches 165.

After the appropriate amount of time has passed, pull pan out and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

After cooling time has passed, pull corned beef out of pan to carve. Remember to always carve against the grain. Cut into 1/8th – 1/4 inch slices.

Roasting the beets:

4 beets (either red or golden)

4 Tablespoons of olive oil 

Salt and black pepper

Heavy duty tinfoil.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub beets under water and trim off any tops.

In a large bowl, toss all four beets with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Individually wrap seasoned beet in tinfoil. 

Place all four wrapped beets directly on the oven rack.

Roast for 60 minutes. 

Unwrap beets and poke with a knife to check tenderness. If the knife does not cut with ease, place the beets back in the oven for another 10 minutes. 

Once knife tender, unwrap all four beets and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Next use a paper town to scrub off the skins of the beets.

Cut beets into wedges and set aside.

Salad

4 oz container of arugula

4 oz container of spinach.

2 T maple syrup (we prefer Simple Gifts maple syrup, harvested in Duluth by Dave Rogotzke.)

2 ounces of aged sheep’s milk cheese, shaved thin. We prefer Friesago from Shepherd’s Way Farm (sold in shop)

In a large bowl, combine arugula, spinach, roasted beets, and cheese. Toss and drizzle with maple syrup. 

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The 5 Top Smokehaus Sandwiches of 2020 (So Far)

There will be no surprises in today’s blog—just a sober look at the eating preferences of our customers since January 1st of this year.

Take a guess which sandwich will be #1. If you find that you’re correct, give yourself a pat on the back, you savvy market analyst, you!

#5 The Great Summer Caper

The once Summertime special that proved too viable to restrict to one season. The Great Summer Caper consists of a toasted Lake Superior Bakehouse Bagel (or one of our new gluten-free bagels), scallion cream cheese, capers (duh!), tomato, red onion, lettuce, and the true star of the show, Black Pepper & Coriander smoked Atlantic salmon.

BP&C (as commonly* abbreviated) is a highly popular fish case offering which, before the Summer of 2018, didn’t show up on any sandwiches. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t requested on sandwiches. It was. Often.

Now, thanks to the Summer special that just wouldn’t quit, you can substitute BP&C on all your favorite fish sandwiches, or The Wagner, if you’re feeling bold and saucy.

*by me.

#4 The Pastrami Mommy

Of the sandwiches on this list, the Pastrami Mommy has evolved the most. Formerly an exclusively Bison Pastrami sandwich, served on a very dark rye bread, it is currently made on our lighter hausmade rye bread (thank you, Jerry!), typically with Beef Pastrami, though still intermittently with Bison Pastrami when the smokers have time or reason to make it.

For those who don’t know, the price of bison has skyrocketed since the Wild West-esque days when I began working at NWS—thus, we reserve the majority of our bison production for Corned Bison and Bison Buddies.

Back to the Pastrami Mommy: Changes aside, the popularity of this sandwich has remained consistent, likely due in part to Guy Fieri’s enthusiasm about it on our decade-old Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives spot, but ultimately due to the merit of this sandwich.

Hausmade rye, mayo, and hausmade mustard, piled high with a quarter-pound of pastrami, zesty pepperoncini, provolone cheese, and mixed greens. Sounds tasty, right?

#3 The Cold Turkey

The savory-sweet delight that’s nearly impossible to quit: Maple-Sage Smoked Ferndale Farms Turkey Breast cradled in a few ounces of Crayo, nestled alongside mixed greens and Swiss cheese, all on a hausmade ciabatta (thanks again, Jerry!).

Frankly, if our sandwich menu ever vexes you, the Cold Turkey is a great default. It’s a sandwich that many, even among our very sandwich-spoiled staff, view as comfort food. It’s the perennial, “nothing too exciting today, just the Cold Turkey.” Which is not a bad thing at all. Add a Jean Jacket if you want some excitement.

#2 The Northern Bagel

A simple foundation with an abundance of flavor is the secret of this sandwich. Our Traditional Smoked Atlantic Salmon already has a lot going for it, from its outer smoke-catching pellicle to it’s brown sugar-sweet, moist and flaky flesh. Marry that amazing flavor to hausmade scallion cream cheese and a Lake Superior Bakehouse bagel, and you’ve got a winning combination.

One major benefit of this simple setup is accessibility. You can eat this thing anywhere, and you’re probably not going to make a mess. It’s a great sandwich on-the-go, whether that’s the trailhead, the beach, or the car. And while the technical aspect of this sandwich may suffice, more importantly, it also tastes really good.

The Northern Bagel is even available from the comfort of your own home kitchen!

#1 The Cajun Finn

Honestly, did you imagine anything else would be in this spot?

The Cajun Finn’s reputation precedes it. The Cajun Finn has had such an impact upon our deli and our community that it has made its way onto a piece of our merchandise—which, by the way, is on sale for $15 during the month of March: That’s $5 off! And lifetime 10%-off your in-store purchases as long as you’re wearing the shirt-slash-any of our merch!—and at least a couple other menus in town *wink emoji*

This blog hasn’t featured any specific sales numbers for these sandwiches, but based on the sales records from which this content emerged, the Finn sold roughly as many units as the three sandwiches below it combined.

Having fond memories of your last Cajun Finn? Want to hit that high again? Have a kit shipped to your doorstep!


It’s looking like it will be a busy weekend in the Canal Park area, and with favorable winds and sunshine, that should hopefully carry over to our deli.

If you’re craving NWS sandwiches and smoked fish, but not craving the wait, try our Delivery/Pick-up service.