Harvest Eatery and FreshMarket, Shaunavon, Saskatchewan
Chef Garrett “Rusty” Thienes and his wife, Kristy, are, in many ways, pioneers in this region of pioneers where the best cooking has for generations been found in home kitchens. Kristy writes, “We are just over an hour outside of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. We are situated within ‘The Cypress Hills Destination Area‘ which spans from SE Alberta to SW Saskatchewan. We like to call Shaunavon the ‘scenic route’ or ‘The Horseshoe’ to Cypress Hills, which leads you through Consul and Eastend (The Valley of Hidden Secrets) where the T.Rex Discovery Centre is.” It is indeed a stunningly beautiful area of grasslands and deep river valleys.
Rusty grew up in the industry where he began flipping burgers at a hockey rink and later washing dishes at a local restaurant in Shaunavon. This is his hometown and his goal is to “bring the hardworking residents, friends and family in my hometown of Shaunavon a timeless brasserie and fresh market to supply them with the same quality of food available in larger urban centres.” He’s especially proud of the Saskatchewan beef on the menu. The photo was taken across the street at Ranch House Meat Company – the town’s butcher shop.
Their signature dish is a smoked Saskatchewan Brisket. Kristy describes its preparation. “Every night we rub a fresh brisket with Chef’s special Southwestern spice blend, inject it with a nice astringent liquid blend (which includes apple juice, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, sugar, coffee…to name a few) and cook it at a low temperature for 16-18 hours. This creates a spicy ‘bark’ on the outside, while rendering a juicy, tender slice of brisket on the inside. It’s served with cracked pepper and herb spaetzle, seasonal vegetables, local carrot puree and chanterelle mushroom demi-glace. ”
It’s a beautifully designed menu, one that would be at home in any urban restaurant in Canada. From bison Carpaccio where Rusty rubs smoked paprika onto bison tenderloin, slices it paper thin and serves it with local arugula, Three Farmers roasted garlic & chili Camelina oil, caper vinaigrette, fried capers, black garlic aioli, fried quails egg. This dish would be at home in any upscale urban restaurant.
There’s a 72oz local Porterhouse with the caution that there are only 2 per weekend. For fish lover he glazes Pacific halibut with miso then sets it on a bed of heirloom tomato salad and fingerling potatoes. Crisp lardons garnish it and it’s finished with a Provencal vinaigrette.
Local pork is mixed with ginger and made into dumplings with a side of tomato & dill jam, apple and horseradish jus and fried turnip chips. Their “grilled cheese” is not what mom used to serve, it’s blue cheese, their brisket, caramelized onions, chipotle-buttermilk ranch, roasted red bell pepper on honey sourdough.
As a destination Harvest Eatery & Freshmarket shouldn’t be missed in any trip through the Prairies.
Contact Harvest Eatery and FreshMarket at the number below to reserve a Food Day Canada table.
Contactez Harvest Eatery and FreshMarket directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre Journée des terroirs réservation.
Harvest Eatery & Freshmarket
492 Centre Street,
Shaunavon, Saskatchewan S0N 2M0
< Photos by Chris Attrell >