I recently discovered bison at my local grocery store and may never go back to cow (ok probably not never but at least not as often). At first, I picked up the packages for a traditional steak and a similar cut of bison. The bison had more protein, less cholesterol and significantly less fat. So far so good. Evaluating these big three items is key when selecting a protein source. You want a little fat as it helps your body absorb the protein. (I found a handy chart that compares bison to many other animals we find in the butcher’s section of the store. I listed it below for your reference) But how does it taste? Stats are all well and good but lets be honest, if it tastes like a shoe I could care less.
Bison had more protein, less cholesterol and significantly less fat
I rolled the dice and bought two bison steaks and took them home for the evening. After a quick glance through my recipe book, I had my plan. I put the bison in a pyrex bowl with some balsamic vinegar, a good helping of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO should be a household standard), garlic, basil, salt and pepper (of course) and a bit of rosemary. I threw the bowl covered in the fridge for a few hours and let the ingredients do all the work.
I fired up the grill letting it get nice and hot. I used gas but if you are a true grill-smith, charcoal is the way to go. Then out came the meat. Now I prefer my steak on the rare side but if you want your's a little more cooked I recommend not going past medium. Cooking bison too long I have found makes it a little tough.
I seared the steaks for about 30 seconds on each side to lock in the flavor and then cooked it for 3-4 minutes per side. If you are going medium cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
Take those perfectly juicy steaks off the grill and get them in the house for serving. Once you smell them you wont have much trouble doing so.
I served them with some sauteed veggies (squash, bell peppers and some cauliflower) and some instant couscous. My family devoured the meal quickly and praised the new ‘steak’ recipe. When I told them it was actually bison I was met with a resounding “WHAT?!” Needless to say it was an instant hit.
The whole meal took about 20 minutes to prepare (yes with prep) and provided a healthy choice for those meat eaters in the house.
Afterwards I was so intrigued with the success of my meal I starting researching bison a bit. Bison, unlike cows prefer to be outside all the time. This eliminates the need for a barn (who would want to build one for such massive creatures). Most farmers let the herd graze naturally. Therefore, it is pretty easy to find a grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free animal. If the bison is healthier it is better for everyone in the circle of life. I now have a new meal in my repertoire and look forward to experimenting again soon. Get out to your local grocery store and try some bison, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Two pounds of Bison Steaks cut 1” thick
Two summer squash
Three bell peppers
One cup of cauliflower
Box of instant couscous
¼ balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
two cloves of garlic minced
¼ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon rosemary
Used the leftover marinade to cook your veggies in. Ten minutes on the stove should do it.