Tender Delights: Exploring the Flavours of Family-Run Ontario Chicken Farms

The patties sizzle on the grill, filling the backyard with the unmistakable aroma of chicken on a summer evening. Your mouth waters as you anticipate the juicy, tender meat inside that golden crust. But have you ever wondered about the source of that chicken on your plate?

Behind the scenes, family-run chicken farms across Ontario work hard to raise healthy birds that become the chicken we know and love. These farmers wake before dawn to care for chicks and hens, ensure safe and humane conditions, and operate their businesses with care and integrity. For many, chicken farming is a multi-generational tradition passed down through the years.

With over 600 chicken farms in Ontario producing over 90 million chickens per year, the province’s chicken farming industry contributes significantly to local economies and provides fresh, high-quality chicken to consumers across Canada. In fact, Ontario produces nearly 40% of all chicken raised in Canada!

From specialty breeds to free-range environments, Ontario’s chicken farms reflect the conscientious, compassionate nature of the province itself. Join us as we journey inside the world of tender delights raised on Ontario’s family-run chicken farms! You may never look at chicken the same way again.

History of Chicken Farming in Ontario

Chicken farming has been an important part of Ontario’s agricultural industry for over a century. While chickens were initially raised on small family farms for local consumption, commercial chicken production began in the early 1900s to meet the demand from rapidly growing urban populations.

The first large commercial chicken farms were established in Ontario in the 1920s and 1930s. These farms housed flocks of several thousand birds and used incubators and brooders to raise chicks. Advances in breeding, nutrition, housing, and disease control allowed chicken farming to scale up and become more efficient.

By the 1950s, vertical integration transformed the poultry industry, with large companies controlling every stage from breeder flocks to processing plants. The introduction of broiler chickens – breeds optimized for meat production – accelerated growth. Small family-run operations declined while large barns housing tens of thousands of birds became standard.

Today, Ontario is Canada’s leading chicken producer, with over 1,000 broiler chicken farmers raising around 150 million chickens per year. While the industry now relies on modern technology and large-scale operations, some independent family-run farms continue the century-old tradition of raising chickens in Ontario.

Free-Range vs Cage-Free: Understanding the Labels

When choosing chicken at the grocery store or restaurant, you may notice labels like “free-range” and “cage-free.” These labels have specific meanings when it comes to how the chickens are raised.

Free-Range Chicken

Free-range chicken must have access to the outdoors for at least part of the day. The outdoor area may be fenced and have vegetation. Free-range conditions allow chickens to engage in natural behaviours like roaming, scratching, and foraging. While requirements vary, free-range chickens typically have more space per bird than cage-free chickens.

Cage-Free Chicken

Cage-free chickens are raised indoors in a barn or poultry house. They are not kept in small, individual cages. Cage-free conditions allow chickens more space to walk around and spread their wings compared to conventional cages. However, cage-free chickens generally do not have outdoor access. The indoor space may be crowded as cage-free does not indicate a maximum density.

Free-range chickens must have at least some access to the outdoors, while cage-free chickens are raised without cages indoors. Looking for these specific labels can help consumers understand how their chicken was raised.

Life on a Chicken Farm

Life on a family-run chicken farm in Ontario is busy but rewarding. The farmers wake up early, well before sunrise, to start their day. The first order of business is caring for the chickens. The farmers walk through the barns, making sure the chickens have plenty of feed and fresh water. They keep a close eye out for any chickens that seem ill or injured, so they can provide medical care if needed.

The chickens at free-range farms get let outside first thing in the morning. They enthusiastically run out to explore the pasture, foraging, dust bathing, and sunning themselves. The farmers make sure the mobile coops, providing shade and shelter, are moved to fresh grass.

Cage-free chickens don’t go outside, but they live in spacious barns with room to move around and spread their wings. The farmers keep the barns clean and ventilated. Special lighting simulates daylight cycles. Enrichments like perches and pecking toys engage the chickens’ natural behaviours.

There is always maintenance work to be done – fixing fencing, maintaining equipment, cleaning the barns. The farmers also spend time observing the chickens. Noticing small changes in behaviour or appearance can alert them to potential issues.

It’s not just the chickens that need care. Baby chicks arrive regularly and need extra attention. The farmers work hard to give them the best start in life. They also put a lot of care into breeding healthy, high-quality chickens.

It’s an early day to bed for the farmers, to be ready for the next busy day. But they take pride in what they do, providing good lives for their chickens and supplying fresh, local chicken to their community. It’s a very hands-on, authentic way of life.

From Farm to Table

Raising chickens for meat involves several key steps from the farm to the grocery store. It all starts with the chicks being hatched and arriving at the farm within their first day of life. The young chicks live in a brooder house for 4-6 weeks where they have access to feed, water, heat lamps, and ample space to move around. Once they develop feathers and can regulate their body temperature, they are moved to a chicken house with large open areas for roaming.

Chickens raised for meat reach market weight between 4-6 weeks old. At this point, they are transported from the farm to a processing facility. Here the chickens are humanely harvested and prepared for retail sale. The processing involves removing feathers, organs, head and feet. After passing inspection, the chickens are packaged into sealed containers and air chilled.

Chicken Breeds Raised in Ontario

Ontario chicken farmers raise a variety of chicken breeds that are well-suited for our climate and meet consumer preferences. Some of the most common chicken breeds raised in the province include:


The Cornish chicken is a breed that originated in Cornwall, England. It is a meaty bird with a broad, plump body and is one of the most popular breeds raised commercially for meat. The Cornish Cross is a hybrid cross between a Cornish rooster and a Plymouth Rock hen that matures very quickly and is ready for processing in just 5-6 weeks.

Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock is an American breed that originated in Massachusetts in the 19th century. This dual-purpose chicken has a medium-large body size and is valued both for its meat and egg production. There are several colour varieties including barred, white and buff. It is hardy and thrives in cold winters.


The Ross is a commercial fast-growing broiler chicken bred specifically by Aviagen for meat production. It reaches market weight at 6-7 weeks and is known for an efficient feed to meat conversion ratio. The Ross breed accounts for much of the chicken meat consumed in Ontario.


The Leghorn breed originated in Italy and is primarily used for egg-laying. It is a lively, flighty breed with a slender body shape. The white variety of Leghorn is most common. Though not raised in large numbers for meat, Leghorns may end up as stewing hens after their egg laying days are over.

This covers some of the major chicken breeds that contribute to Ontario’s thriving poultry industry from farm to table. Whether raised for their meat or eggs, these birds are an important agricultural commodity for the province.

Taste and Texture

The taste and texture of chicken is greatly impacted by the environment in which the chickens are raised. Chickens that are allowed to roam freely outdoors and forage on grass, seeds, and insects develop firmer, juicier meat with a richer, more complex flavour compared to chickens raised exclusively indoors.

On family-run farms in Ontario, chickens are often a combination of free-range and cage-free. They have access to the outdoors for at least part of the day, but also have climate-controlled barns where they can rest and stay warm. This hybrid approach allows the chickens opportunities to roam and develop flavour while also protecting them from predators.

Pasture-raised chickens have a “much deeper, chicken flavour” than conventional chickens. The varied diet from foraging contributes to a more diverse, nutty taste. The exercise outdoors also leads to firmer muscle development. However, the flavour is impacted not just by diet and exercise, but also by the stress levels of the chickens. Less crowded environments on family farms lead to lower stress. Scientists have found chickens raised in crowded industrial barns exhibit more fear and nervousness, which can lead to tougher meat texture.

So next time you sit down to an Ontario-raised chicken dinner, Savor the juicy texture and rich Flavours imparted by our provincial family farms. The taste is truly reflective of the care with which these chickens are raised.

Recipes Using Ontario Chicken

Ontario chicken is incredibly versatile and can be used in all sorts of delicious recipes. Here are a few recipes highlighting local chicken:

Maple Dijon Chicken

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pound chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard and maple syrup.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.
  4. Brush chicken with maple Dijon mixture. Flip and brush again. Cook 1 minute more until glaze is sticky.
  5. Serve chicken topped with any extra glaze.

Parmesan Chicken Parmesan

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Marinara sauce, for serving
  1. In a shallow dish, mix together breadcrumbs and Parmesan. In another dish, beat eggs.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip in egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Serve chicken topped with marinara sauce.

Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
  • Tortillas, pico de gallo, sour cream for serving
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken and cook 5-6 minutes until starting to brown.
  2. Add bell pepper, onion and fajita seasoning. Cook 5 minutes until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through.
  3. Serve chicken and vegetable mixture with tortillas, pico de gallo and sour cream.

The Future of the Chicken Industry

The future looks bright but challenging for family-run chicken farms in Ontario. As consumer demand grows for ethically raised, local chicken, there are opportunities for expansion. However, these small farms face stiff competition from large industrial operations.
Several trends point to continued growth in the market for premium, artisanal chicken from Ontario:

  • Increasing interest in organic, free-range, and humane certification programs. Consumers are willing to pay more for chicken raised in higher-welfare conditions.
  • Rise of farm-to-table and local food movements. Restaurants and grocers want to partner with local farms to provide fresh, high-quality chicken.
  • New immigrants seek out halal and kosher poultry. Smaller farms can cater to these niche markets.
  • Millennials and Gen Z care deeply about sustainability, animal welfare, and transparent farming practices.

At the same time, small family farms struggle to stay viable against giant agribusinesses running factory chicken operations at massive scales. Farms housing tens of thousands of chickens can leverage economies of scale.
To overcome these challenges, Ontario’s chicken farmers may need to:

  • Form cooperatives to share distribution and marketing.
  • Seek grants and programs supporting sustainable agriculture.
  • Use technology to improve efficiency and manage costs.
  • Educate consumers on the value of premium local chicken.
  • Partner with chefs, local restaurants, grocers and food hubs.

By focusing on quality, ethical production and connecting with their communities, family-run farms can continue thriving for generations to come. Though the road ahead has some bumps, the future looks bright for these heritage chicken producers.

The Benefits of Purchasing Meat in Bulk in Ontario


Purchasing meat in bulk directly from Ontario farms and butchers provides many benefits compared to buying pre-packaged cuts from the grocery store. Buying locally-raised chicken, turkey, pork, fish or high-quality beef, can significantly lower the cost when ordered in bulk. You can also choose from a wide variety of customized cuts to stock up your freezer.

Cost Savings

Purchasing meat in bulk can lead to significant cost savings compared to buying individual cuts at the grocery store.

There are additional savings simply because you are purchasing such a large quantity at one time. It’s like buying in bulk at a warehouse store – the more you buy, the lower the per unit price.

In summary, buying meat in bulk directly from a farmer leads to lower prices and savings across all cuts from ground beef to ribeye steaks. The large quantity purchase nets wholesale pricing and added discounts that make buying meat more affordable.


When it comes to quality, purchasing bulk beef directly from local Ontario farms is the way to go. The beef comes from cattle that are 100% grass-fed and grain finished. Grass-fed beef is lower in fat, contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and has higher levels of antioxidants like vitamin E.

Additionally, local Ontario beef is raised without the use of added hormones or routine antibiotics. Hormones are sometimes used by industrial farms to promote faster growth rates in cattle. However, hormone-free beef is considered more natural and healthier. And beef from cattle raised without routine antibiotics helps reduce antibiotic resistance in humans. You can feel good knowing the bulk beef you purchase comes from cattle raised in a more ethical, sustainable manner without reliance on drugs.

So, when it comes to nutrient density, flavour, and ethical animal husbandry practices, local grass-fed Ontario beef really is a top-notch choice. You get excellent quality beef raised the old-fashioned way by multi-generational family farms right here in the province.

Support Local Farms


Purchasing bulk beef directly from local farmers and ranchers helps keep money in your community. When you buy from a local producer, 100% of your dollars go straight to that farm. This contrasts with buying beef from large grocery chains where only a small fraction of your money makes it back to the producer.

Supporting local beef producers helps sustain small family farms in your area. By purchasing a quarter or half beef, you are providing vital income to that farm. This enables them to stay in business, maintain their land, and continue supplying humanely raised, high-quality beef for your family and community. Local farms also hire local workers and use local services like veterinarians, creating a positive ripple effect through the rural economy.

So, when you opt for locally raised beef in bulk, you can take pride in knowing your food dollars make a real difference in supporting and preserving local agriculture in your region. It’s an investment in the health, heritage, and economic well-being of your community.


Buying meat from local farmers in Ontario not only supports the community but also promotes sustainability. By purchasing meat from local farmers, consumers are directly contributing to the local economy and helping to keep small-scale farming alive. Local farmers often prioritize sustainable practices, such as raising animals on pasture and using organic feed, which helps to reduce the environmental impact of meat production. Additionally, buying locally reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting meat long distances.

Supporting local farmers also ensures that consumers have access to high-quality, ethically-raised meat. Many local farmers prioritize animal welfare and use humane farming practices, which means that the meat they produce is often of a higher quality than mass-produced alternatives. By purchasing meat from local farmers, consumers can have peace of mind knowing that the animals were raised in a humane and healthy environment.

Food Security

Purchasing bulk beef directly from local Ontario farms helps strengthen food security. Food security means having reliable access to safe and nutritious food. When you buy beef in bulk from a local farm, you know exactly where your food is coming from. The beef is raised and processed right in your community, often within just a few hours drive of your home. This provides a level of food security, as you have a consistent and dependable source of high-quality protein. If there are ever shortages at the grocery store, supply chain disruptions, or other emergency situations, you can be confident you’ll still have access to locally-raised beef from the farm. This benefits individuals, families, and the broader community. Knowing the origins of your food brings peace of mind.


Buying beef in bulk means you’ll need proper storage to keep it fresh until you’re ready to use it. Here are some tips for storing large quantities of beef:

  • Invest in a standalone freezer if you don’t already have one. A deep freezer will maintain an ideal temperature for storing meat long-term. Make sure to keep it around 0°F. Few businesses like Farmway Foods offer Free Freezer, you can get in touch for more information.
  • Keep an inventory of what’s in the freezer. Label bags with contents and date frozen so you know what needs to be used first.
  • Rotate stock by moving older items to the front and newest to the back. This ensures the oldest portions get used first.
  • Once thawed, frozen beef should be cooked within 2 days. Refreezing thawed meat can damage texture and moisture.
  • For maximum freshness, use frozen beef within 1 year. Mark your calendar to use up existing stock before purchasing more.
  • Keep freezer clean and organized to prevent buildup of ice crystals. This helps maintain proper air circulation.

Proper storage lets you get the most value out of buying beef in bulk. With the right freezing and inventory practices, you’ll have access to high-quality meat for months to come.

How to Buy Beef in Bulk

Buying bulk beef directly from local providers is simple and supports your local food system. The key is connecting directly with local providers to access high-quality bulk beef and support your community. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

Big Cuts, Big Savings: A Guide to Wholesale Meat Purchasing in Ontario

Are you tired of spending a fortune on meat at the grocery store? If the answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will explore the world of wholesale meat purchasing in Ontario, providing you with valuable insights on how to make big savings on your meat expenses. Whether you’re a restaurant owner looking to cut costs or a home cook who wants to stock up on high-quality beef, this article will serve as your go-to resource. So, let’s delve into the world of wholesale meat delivery and discover the big cuts and big savings that are waiting for you.

Health Benefits of Locally Raised Meat:

Locally raised meat offers several health benefits compared to conventionally raised meat. Firstly, local farms often prioritize animal welfare, which means the animals are raised in more humane conditions. This can lead to healthier animals and higher-quality meat. Additionally, locally raised meat is typically free from hormones and antibiotics that are commonly used in conventional farming practices. This means that consumers are less likely to consume these potentially harmful substances when eating locally raised meat.

Supporting Local Farmers:

Wholesale meat purchasing can also be a way to support local farmers and contribute to the sustainability of Ontario’s agricultural industry. By buying directly from farmers or local wholesale suppliers, consumers can help to create a more transparent and direct supply chain. This not only ensures a more fair and equitable income for farmers but also reduces the ecological footprint associated with long-distance transportation.

Culinary Adventures:

Wholesale beef offers an opportunity for culinary exploration and experimentation. With a larger quantity of meat available for purchase, home cooks can try their hand at different cooking techniques or dive into more complex recipes that require longer cooking times. It’s a chance to expand your culinary repertoire and impress family and friends with mouthwatering dishes.

Meal Prepping and Convenient Freezing:

Purchasing meat in bulk allows for easy meal prepping and convenient freezing. Meat sold by Farmway Foods come individually vacuum packed making it easier for busy individuals or families to save time and effort in their daily meal planning. Farmway Foods offer free freezer when purchasing meat in bulk. Whether it’s marinating steaks for quick grilling, preparing beef stir-fry kits, or creating hearty stews, having readily available meat portions in the freezer can make weeknight dinners a breeze.

Building Strong Relationships:

By establishing a relationship with a reliable wholesale meat supplier, whether it’s a local farmer or a trusted wholesale distributor, consumers can build strong connections within their community. These relationships often come with added benefits, such as access to exclusive cuts, customized orders, or even educational opportunities like farm visits or cooking classes. It’s a chance to support local businesses and foster a sense of community.

Wholesale meat purchasing in Ontario not only presents an opportunity for significant cost savings but also opens the door to a variety of other benefits. From improved health outcomes to culinary adventures and supporting local farmers, the advantages of exploring wholesale meat purchasing extend far beyond the grocery store’s price tag. So, next time you’re looking to stock up on meat, consider the world of wholesale purchasing and prepare to unlock big savings and a host of other rewarding experiences.

Culinary Mastery: Crafting Ribeye Nirvana with Ontario’s Top-Quality Beef Delights


The rich, beefy flavour of a perfectly grilled ribeye steak is a culinary delight that speaks to the soul of every grilling enthusiast. Ribeye steak has long been the prized cut for special occasions and backyard barbeques. Connoisseurs appreciate the tender texture, abundant marbling, and full-bodied taste that makes ribeye a cut above the rest. But not all ribeyes are equal, which is why discerning carnivores seek out the finest specimens sourced from ethically raised, grass-fed cattle. Only then can you experience ribeye at its most succulent and savoury best.

That’s why Ontario’s ribeyes stand apart as a cut worth savouring. With its rolling green pastures and small family farms, Ontario produces top-quality beef of exceptional quality. Their ribeyes from grass-fed cattle capture the essence of why this cut captivates steak lovers. Each mouthwatering bite bursts with rich, beefy flavour that satisfies on a primal level. Properly prepared, an Ontario ribeye is a perfect medium of velvety tenderness with just the right amount of fat marbling to enhance the taste. The result is a world-class steak experience befitting the centrepiece of a special meal. So, join us on a culinary journey as we explore the distinctive pleasures of Ontario’s finest ribeye steaks. Discover why they hit the sweet spot of flavour, texture, and nutrition to delight the most discerning carnivores.

Where Ontario Ribeyes Come From

Ontario is home to some of the finest ribeye steaks in Canada thanks to its lush grasslands and rich soil. The nutrient-dense grasses that the cattle graze on give Ontario ribeyes their signature robust, beefy flavour and tender texture.

Certain regions of Ontario like Grey, Bruce and Huron counties are particularly renowned for their prime ribeyes. Cattle farms nestled in these areas benefit from the ideal climate, rolling green pastures and proximity to fresh water that helps raise healthy, well-marbled steaks.

Ontario ribeyes come from cattle breeds like Angus, Hereford and Simmental that are specially selected for their naturally flavourful meat. The cattle roam freely outdoors on pasture and are 100% grass-fed their whole lives, resulting in ribeyes that have a deeper, more complex taste compared to corn-fed beef.

The open pastures give the cattle plenty of room to graze on clover, ryegrass and other greens that Ontario farms grow sustainably. This natural, stress-free environment and diet is what allows the beef to develop superior marbling while staying tender and juicy.

Nutritional Benefits

Ontario’s ribeye steaks provide exceptional nutritional value compared to conventional grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is higher in many vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy fats that are beneficial for human health.

Protein: Ribeye steaks are an excellent source of high-quality protein to support muscle growth and maintenance. A 6-ounce serving contains around 40 grams of protein.

Omega-3s and CLAs: Grass-fed cattle produce beef much higher in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. Omega-3s and CLAs have been associated with reduced inflammation, improved heart health and faster fat loss.

Lower in total fat: Research shows ribeyes are lower in total fat than conventional ribeyes. They have a healthier fatty acid composition with more heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Antioxidants: Grass-fed beef contains significantly higher levels of antioxidants like vitamin E and glutathione. These compounds help combat free radical damage and reduce oxidative stress.

Overall, Ontario ribeye steaks provide a nutritionally superior choice to support a healthy diet and lifestyle compared to regular feedlot-raised beef. Choosing grass-fed beef like Ontario ribeyes is a simple way to upgrade your nutrition.

Cooking Methods

When cooking an Ontario ribeye steak, there are several methods you can use to bring out the rich, beefy flavour of the cut. Three of the most popular cooking methods are grilling, pan searing, and broiling.


Grilling is one of the best ways to cook a ribeye steak. The high heat of the grill sears the outside of the steak, creating a delicious, browned crust. At the same time, the inside cooks gently to your desired doneness. To grill a ribeye:

  • Bring the steak to room temperature before putting it on the grill. This helps it cook evenly.
  • Preheat your grill to high heat. Use a two-zone fire by leaving one side hotter for searing and one side cooler for cooking the steak through.
  • Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper or a savoury herb rub.
  • Place the steak over direct high heat. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side to get a good sear.
  • Move the steak to indirect heat and close the grill lid. Cook to your desired internal temperature. For medium-rare, remove it from the grill at 135°F and allow to rest.
  • Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Pan Searing

Pan searing on the stovetop is a quick and easy way to cook ribeyes with excellent browning. To pan sear:

  • Pat the steak dry and season all over with salt and pepper. You can also use an herb rub or marinade.
  • Heat a cast iron or stainless-steel skillet over high heat until very hot. Add a small amount of high smoke point oil like avocado or grapeseed oil.
  • Place the steak in the pan and let sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes to get a good crust.
  • Flip and sear the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn heat to medium and cook to desired doneness, flipping occasionally. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temp.
  • Remove from pan and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.


Broiling uses high heat from above to quickly cook and brown the ribs. To broil:

  • Preheat broiler to high. Place oven rack 6 inches from heating element.
  • Season steak all over with salt, pepper, herbs or other seasoning.
  • Place steak on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes per side until browned.
  • Flip and move to centre of oven if needed. Cook until desired internal temperature.
  • Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil, and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

No matter which cooking method you choose, the key is properly searing the outside of the steak to develop a flavourful crust while cooking the interior to your desired doneness. Resting before slicing will result in a juicier, more tender ribeye.

Sides and Pairings

Ribeye steaks are typically the star of the show but pairing them with complementary side dishes and beverages can take the meal to the next level. Here are some tasty options:

Complementary Vegetables and Starches

Baked or mashed potatoes – Ribeyes pair wonderfully with creamy, buttery potatoes. Yukon gold or russet potatoes work well baked, roasted, or mashed. Add herbs, garlic, or cheese for extra flavour.

Asparagus – The crisp snap of fresh asparagus balances the rich beefiness of the ribeye. Grill or roast spears until tender-crisp.

Creamed spinach – Ribeyes love a green veggie side. Wilted spinach gets a luscious creaminess from a sauce of butter, onion, and heavy cream.

Brussels sprouts – Roasted Brussels sprouts caramelise beautifully. Toss halved sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in a hot oven until browned and tender.
Wild rice pilaf – Nutty wild rice makes a hearty side for ribeyes. Cook rice pilaf-style with chicken or vegetable broth and season with herbs.

Wine and Beer Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon- This full-bodied red wine has enough structure and flavour to stand up to a ribeye steak. Cabernet offers notes of black currant, cedar, and dark chocolate.

Malbec – An Argentinian Malbec delivers robust fruit flavours like plum and blackberry along with smoky, peppery spice. It’s a perfect complement to seasoned ribeye.

Porter or stout beer – The roasted maltiness of porters and stouts pairs deliciously with grilled, savoury ribeyes. Try local Ontario craft beers.

Zinfandel – Rich, jammy Zinfandels from California have ripe berry flavours and black pepper spice that brings out the best in ribeye steaks.

Building a Complete Meal

Ribeyes deserve an entire meal built around them. From appetisers to desserts, create a cohesive dining experience:

  • Start with a fresh salad of baby greens, tomato, and Parmesan.
  • Offer warm bread with compound butter.
  • For dessert, ribs prefer something chocolatey like molten lava cake.
  • Share family-style sides like scalloped potatoes and sauteed mushrooms in addition to personalised servings of vegetables.
  • Offer both wine and beer so guests can choose their beverage pairing.

With thoughtful sides, drinks, and starters and finishers, you can design a complete Ontario ribeye steak dinner.

Ontario Ribeye Recipes

The rich, beefy flavour of Ontario ribeye makes it the perfect star ingredient for appetisers, entrees, and even desserts. Consider these delicious recipe ideas:

Ribeye Carpaccio Appetizer

Thinly slice a ribeye against the grain, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly grated Parmesan. Top with arugula and serve with grilled bread slices. The tender ribeye makes for a melt-in-your-mouth carpaccio.

Coffee-Crusted Ribeye with Balsamic Glaze

Coat ribeyes with a rub of coffee, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and pepper before grilling or pan-searing. Make a glaze from balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and brown sugar to drizzle over the steaks before serving. The bittersweet glaze complements the rich coffee-encrusted beef.

Ribeye Steak Fajitas

Sear ribeye slices until medium rare. Slice into strips and toss in a hot skillet with sautéed peppers and onions. Wrap in warm tortillas and top with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. A quick and easy Tex-Mex meal.

Chocolate Ribeye Protein Bars

Blend oats, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, ground flaxseed, and egg whites. Stir in chopped ribeye until fully combined. Press into a loaf pan and refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars for a high protein snack with a beefy twist. Savoury, sweet, and satisfying.

Grilling Tips

Grilling a perfect ribeye steak requires paying attention to a few key techniques. Proper grill preparation is essential – make sure the grates are thoroughly cleaned and oiled before cooking. Preheat the grill completely to ensure even cooking. Use direct high heat (about 550-600°F) to get those lovely grill marks and caramelisation on the meat. Avoid constant flipping to get those quintessential criss-cross grill marks.

For added flavour, try using indirect heat and smoking. Set up a two zone fire – pile coals or heat on one side, leaving the other with no coals directly under. Place the steaks on the no-direct-heat side and add hardwood chips or chunks to generate smoke. Cover the grill to capture the smoke. The steaks will gently cook from the ambient heat while absorbing delicious smoky flavour. Apple, hickory, oak, and mesquite are all excellent wood choices.

Monitor the internal temperature to take the steaks off at the desired doneness, around 125-135°F for medium rare. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving for juicy, tender ribeyes with the perfect char and smoky essence. Proper grilling technique allows the exceptional flavour of Ontario’s ribeyes to shine.

Food Safety with Ribeye Steaks

Properly handling and cooking ribeye steak is important to avoid foodborne illness. Here are some tips:

Proper Storage and Thawing

  • Store ribeye steaks in their vacuum packs in the coldest part of the refrigerator at 40°F or below. Use within 3-5 days.
  • For freezer storage up to 12 months, Farmway Foods packages the steaks accordingly and guarantees  and provides guarantee against freezer burn.
  • Thaw frozen ribeyes in the refrigerator, not on the counter. This slow thawing helps prevent bacterial growth. Place on a plate to catch any drips as it thaws over 24 hours.

Cook Thoroughly and Monitor Temperature

  • Ribeyes should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F as measured by a food thermometer. This kills any harmful bacteria.
  • Use a digital instant-read thermometer to check temperature in the thickest part of the steak.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

  • Prevent raw meat juices from dripping on other foods by keeping them separate. Use different cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
  • Wash hands, cutting boards, counters, and utensils with hot soapy water after handling raw steaks.

Following proper food safety measures will help ensure ribeye steaks are safe to enjoy. Cook thoroughly, use a food thermometer, and prevent cross-contamination.

This culinary journey with Ontario’s finest ribeye steaks has highlighted the exceptional flavour and quality that makes them stand out. From learning about the local farms where these premium cuts originate, to discovering cooking tips and recipe ideas, it’s clear why Ontario ribeyes are savoured by top chefs and backyard grill master’s alike.

Their superior marbling and robust beefy flavour deliver a tender and juicy steak experience. The nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef also make Ontario ribeyes a smart choice. We’ve covered a range of cooking methods from grilling, broiling, pan-searing and more to bring out the very best in these steaks. Pairing recommendations provide guidance to complement and enhance their flavours.

As we conclude this culinary tour, be sure to seek out Ontario ribeyes at Farmway Foods. Try some of the mouthwatering recipes included here. Most importantly, take a moment to savour the exceptional flavour of each bite the next time you enjoy these premium steaks. Ontario ribeyes represent the pinnacle of quality and taste – a proud culinary tradition well worth celebrating.