Tag Archives: bison

Bison, Not Just for Cowboys

bison grazing

bison grazing

Unlike during the times of Buffalo Bill, bison are farm raised, and almost entirely used for meat processing and the food market. It’s important to consider that with its large, lean muscle structures, buffalo can be trickier to cook than your run-of-the-mill cow.  Fifteen years ago “beefalo” was a fad (breeding your standard heifer to a buffalo) and farmers later found out that the health conscious public really did want a lean, flavorful meat. Buffalo is a great option for this. Most of the buffalo you buy today are composed of young heifers (the female cow) and they are referred to as cow and bull like their cousin the standard cow. In today’s market you’ll find that most buffalo sub-prime cuts (NY strip, ribeye, tenderloin, etc.) are no larger than its cow counterparts because of how it’s raised.  As you can imagine, the larger and the older it becomes, the stringier the meat. Though Flintstone in appearance with big ribs and large steaks, the meat loses its appeal for becoming good table fair.

Buffalo meat has a different flavor and is very lean. Many advocates will claim that it is sweeter due to its grazing style (compared to a cow). For a cook it is trickier than regular beef. You must not overcook it because you cannot rely on the internal muscle fat that can be an advantage in other types of red meat.


Mustard Short Ribs

10 lbs. ribs
1 c. prepared mustard (I just use regular yellow mustard)
2oz. Sugar
2 oz. lemon juice
2 teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cloves of crushed garlic
4 medium onions, sliced
Place buffalo ribs in shallow baking dish. Mix mustard, sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic; pour over the ribs. Top with onions. Cover and refrigerate, turning ribs occasionally, for 4 to 24 hours.

Place ribs with marinade and onions in Dutch oven or any other oven proof baking dish, and cook at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. Check for tenderness. Cook longer, if necessary, for 10-minute intervals until the ribs are fall off the bone tender.

Student serving Bison

Student serving Bison

Buffalo Rib Roast
with Orange-Molasses Glaze

from American Game Cooking
by John Ash and Sid Goldstein

This is a favorite recipe. The orange-molasses glaze is flecked with mustard seeds to give it texture and flavor. The resulting spicy, sweet crust that it imparts to the roast is quite captivating. This approach works equally well with other domestic cuts of meat such as a beef standing rib roast or a pork loin.
This is a great dish for a holiday dinner especially when coupled with the carrot-sweet potato purée.

1 buffalo rib or top sirloin roast (7 to 9 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups (1 medium) finely minced red onions
3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef, veal or basic Game Meat Stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Carrot–Sweet Potato Purée (recipe follows)

  • Heat oil in a separate saucepan and sauté onions and garlic until just beginning to color.
  • Add pepper, vinegar, orange juice, zest, molasses, coriander and mustard seeds and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until glaze is lightly thickened. Cool.
  • Generously paint roast with glaze and allow to sit at least 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight refrigerated, before roasting (bring back to room temperature before roasting).
  • Reserve any remaining glaze to baste roast during cooking.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 325° and continue to cook until a meat thermometer registers 130°F. Be careful not to overcook or meat will be dry and chewy.
  • Baste roast occasionally with any remaining glaze.
  • Remove roast from pan and keep warm.
  • Add wine and stock to roasting pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits.
  • Reduce slightly and then strain juices.
  • Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Slice roast and serve with warm pan juices and a dollop of carrot-sweet potato purée.
  • Leftover roast can be used to make Buffalo Chili.
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