2 Recipes to Make EPIC Meat Bars Taste Better

Have you noticed there has been an explosion of foods that come wrapped in little rectangles? When I was a … Continued

Have you noticed there has been an explosion of foods that come wrapped in little rectangles? When I was a kid, candy bars were the only “bars” of the grab-and-go variety; convenient, individually packaged sugar rush and cavity accelerators purchased with dimes and quarters at the local Ben Franklin store.

Since then the flood gates opened on commercially produced and individually packaged foods. Granola bars, breakfast bars, and protein bars in every, and any, imaginable combination of ingredients started showing up as snack or meal solutions to our increasingly mobile lifestyles. The popular portability of individually packaged protein foods is undeniable. They are quick and convenient for our busy everyday lives, when we are traveling, or out in the bush and need energy for hunting, fishing, hiking, or paddling.

epic wild boar bar
EPIC Wild Boar Bar with cranberries Krissie Mason

Recently, there has been a surge in meat bars. This should not surprise me being from the state that invented SPAM, but it does. This isn’t jerky, which to me is the most natural way of carrying un-refrigerated meat in rectangular form. Rather, these pre-cooked meat bars are ground and formed, (often blended with herbs or dried fruits), and remain moist in package. And wow what a package. The artwork can be pretty eye catching.

One young company that is carving out its place in the protein bar niche is the EPIC Bar. But get this, they started the company when they became vegetarians. No lie. And their target customers are outdoor athletes with a “strong passion for activity, adventure, training, and optimal nutrition”.

epic wild boar bar recipe
Ingredients for the Boar in a Waller recipe. Krissie Mason

Well, anyone who knows me will tell you I’m no outdoor athlete, but I do have a strong passion for meat. On a recent trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, I bought a few of the EPIC venison and wild boar bars figuring they were transportable meat that needed no refrigeration and would allow me to try a couple recipes. While the recipes turned out well, and tasted really good, the precooked, processed, and individually packaged meat bars are not for me. But neither is SPAM. I’ll stick to old fashioned jerky and an occasional Snickers.

sliced epic bar
The precooked venison protein bar, sliced. Krissie Mason

VENISON SH!# ON A SHINGLE
(Ingredients per serving)

1-2 venison meat bars
2 slices bread, toasted
¼ – ½ cup room temperature cream or milk
½ tablespoon chopped shallot
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1-2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter

Melt butter in a small cast- iron pan over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and rosemary. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add flour ½ T at a time to make a light roux. (The exact amount is usually between 1-2 tablespoons.) Slowly add cream, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

venison epic bar recipe
To serve: Plate the buttered toast, layer on the venison, and pour the gravy over the top. Garnish with a snappy dill pickle and pepper sauce to taste. Krissie Mason

BOAR IN A WALLER
(Ingredients per serving)

1 wild boar meat bar
2 hard rolls, or rolls of choice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon chives

wild boar bar bread bowl
Chopped wild boar bar sitting in a waller (top). Drop an egg on top of the meat and bake. Krissie Mason

Cut the tops off the rolls and pull out soft insides to leave a hole. Butter the inside generously. Chop up the wild boar meat bar and put in the “waller”. Crack an egg into each waller, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set into a heated cast iron pan over the campfire, cover, and bake until egg is cooked to your liking.

epic bar boar bread
EPIC Boar in a Waller with fresh fruit and coffee. Krissie Mason