help cooking bison
- texasmensch Jan 31, 2005 09:45 AM
I hear bison is good for you (better than beef anyway) and I'd love to cook with it. The choice of cuts in my area is not great - mostly thin cut bison steak.
I'd love recipe ideas that are low fat (some oil is okay) and very low carb. I tried to broil a bison steak, but it came out rubbery and with very little flavor.
When you buy your bison steaks, do you know whether they have been aged already? Generally speaking, bison needs to be aged for it to be tender, especially if you are grilling it. I'm not sure of the best way to age it yourself though... I'm sure there are specific requirements as you wouldn't want to meat to go rancid.
Another option is to braise the meat. Braising is essentially slow cooking in liquid and it is a very common method for tougher meats. Any braising recipe that works for boar, beef, goat, or even lamb, would likely also work well for bison.
One thing to remember is that it is a very low fat meat and so not very juicy. To keep as much juice in the meat you need to cook it very briefly, medium rare. A thin cut bison steak is probably the worst cut you could have. This is a meat that needs to be thick or else only seared for a very short time. When I cook a bison / buffalo burger I cook it as little as possible, especially if it is a thin pre-formed pattie. With thin cut steaks I would use them in a dish that requires longer wet cooking such as braising to soften it up and maximise the flavor.
Take those thin steaks and cut them into 2" by 2" pieces. Sear them at high heat to brown. Then put them in a covered casserole pot with lots of caramelised onions and carrots and any other root vegetables, add a good splash or pour of white or red wine, or maybe beer, or even port or sherry. A table spoon or two of tomato paste or a cut up tomato, or a splash of ketchup. Throw in a few herbs or spices (rosemary, thyme, sage, coriander, cardomon, chili's,... whatever you like) and some fresh pepper. Then braise in the oven at around 350-375 degrees for an hour or so until the meat is very tender. Serve with starch such as rice, noodles, or potatos, or just plain for those on those faddish and unhealthy low carb diets. You can actually do this dish with any meat or cut that gets dried out real easy.
Or else use the meat in a strogonoff style dish, a stir fry, or any dish that focuses on either very brief cooking or long slow cooking.