Ranch Recipe of the month for June comes from Lone Mountain Ranch in Montana, USA. The Montana dude ranch has created a relationship with Trout Culture in Virginia City, located just over the hill in the Madison Valley. Here, local farmers Justin and Chris raise and nurture the trout served to guests taking dude ranch vacations at Lone Mountain.
With more than 90 per cent of all America’s trout raised in Idaho, many in concrete raceways and supplemented with pellet formula leaving the meat watery and lacking flavour, Chris and Justin decided to take a different approach. They raise trout in a spring-fed pond, where they have the ability to swim and so develop more flavor, just like free-range poultry. The trout feed between at least 40-60 per cent naturals depending on season, and are supplemented on an organic pellet that does not contain carotene – something often used in farm-raised trout that gives the fish its distinctive and unnatural orange hue.
Committed to supporting its community of ranchers and farmers, Lone Mountain uses only Trout Culture’s fish for its cuisine, meaning guests on their Montana dude ranch vacations can be sure of dining on only the very best fish that the state has to offer - with the added reassurance that it has been locally and responsibly sourced.
One of the Montana dude ranch’s best loved recipes is this dish of whole trout, grilled on the bone and served with a zingy lemon citronette and a delicately spiced German potato salad. This quick and easy trout recipe is a cinch to make, and delicious, too! Although we highly recommend taking a dude ranch vacation at Lone Mountain Ranch to sample this trout dish, here’s the recipe so you can bring a little Montana into your home…
Lone Mountain Ranch's Grilled Madison Valley Trout with Lemon Citronette and German Potato Salad
Juice of 4 lemons1 cup fine olive oil, eg Stone House Arbequina8 bacon rashers (streaky works best) 3 tbsps all-purpose flour 4 tsps onion, chopped 2/3 cup vinegar2/3 cup water1/2 cup sugar4 tsps salt1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper1 tsp dry mustard powder1/2 tsp whole rosemary leaves, crumbled2 quarts potatoes, cooked and diced 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 4 whole trout, scaled and guttedSea salt and freshly ground black pepperFour lemon halves, to serve
1. First, prepare the lemon citronette. Combine the lemon juice and olive oil in blender with a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
2. Next, heat a frying pan over medium heat and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble. Add the flour and onion to the bacon fat left in the pan. Stir in vinegar, water, sugar, salt, spices and rosemary. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is of medium thickness. Add to the potatoes, parsley and crumbled bacon, and mix together, being careful not to mash the potatoes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
3. Season the trout inside and out and place on a very hot grill. After about 3 mins, rotate the trout 90 degrees on same side. After another 3 mins, remove from the grill and finish in a preheated 375°F oven for 6-8 mins or until trout is cooked through. Serve immediately, drizzled with the citronette, potato salad and lemon halves.
Tuck in and enjoy!
For more information on dude ranch vacations at Lone Mountain Ranch, visit Top50Ranches.com
By Mel Rutherford