thanksgiving buffalo roast - technical questions
ok, so has anyone actually done this? a standing rib roast of buffalo? got tips? here are some questions
- ageing - it will arrive frozen a couple weeks early. should i try to dry age it a bit in the fridge? or just thaw it a couple days before?
- just a salt rub? or anything else?
- i'd like to do a very hot initial sear. i can just broil in the oven, or is there another way? pan sear?
Pretty much what Weinstein said- Buffalo has the gamey flavor of grassfed beef- and then some. Using aging to intensify the flavor will make the game fans at your table ecstatic, but at the price I suspect you had to pay for the meat, losing amy more volume to moisture loss would be redundant- buffalo tastes pretty good withough additional aging.
As for cooking, think of it like beef, minus the marbling. The slightly livery-gamey flavor that will develop (quite mild- a rib roast is not a tough and gamey area of the animal) can be accentuated or reduced depwnding on your preference- I'm sitting next to my cannister of roasted garlic & mushroom powder (don't ask why it is in the office, I don't have a good answer)- I used it as a rub on a buffalo top round last fall. A garlic pepper rub, montreal steak seasoning, or any variation of earthy and spicy will always complement red meats. As the Buffalo ribeye is my favorite all-time steak, I'm a big fan of just salt and pepper.
Every decent cookbook and cooking show host has their own suggestion for cooking a beef rib roast- follow your guts as to which source has the best technique. As for me, If I had a pan large enough to sear a rib roast, I would, but as my biggest pan is just a 12", I usually go for the low and slow roast, then finish hot to develop the surface browning. As Weinstein5 said, going past medium rare is to be discouraged. USE A PROBE THERMOMETER!
I am insanely jealous- I miss buffalo!
just a follow up report.
i did a salt/pepper/garlic rub the day before thanksgiving after fully thawing by tuesday. i broiled the fatty side up for about 15 mins under maximum power to give a beautiful toasted crust. then i slow roasted it at 250-300 degrees for a few hours until the internal temp hit 140. then i rested it, and the temp kept rising to 150 (!). it cooled to about 130 when the guests started to arrive. i flipped it over and broiled the other side, then immediately removed it for carving.
i was shooting for rare, and got medium rare, but thankfully the meat was surprisingly fatty and remarkably tender. it had a rich flavor and texture that i would describe as follows: this buffalo prime rib was to beef as duck is to chicken.
it was magnificent!
and yes, it was superb with wine.
thanks for the tips, it was a great success and a new tradition has been born.
well, after about an hour of researching on line, i finally found a good deal from amazon.com. it was 15 lbs, bone in, for $100! but shipping was $32!! still, that comes to less than ten bucks a pound, while i'd seen other retailers selling for over twenty.
of course i prefer organic, free range, grass fed buffalo, and this vendor didn't explicitly say all that. but i think we're still safe in assuming that no buffalo are currently raised in feed lots. so my desire to support 'all american' ecologically responsible agriculture was as satified as my tummy :)
as i ramble on, let me reiterate that i was surprised how fatty the prime rib was, since everyone says bison is leaner than beef. hoping that this is not the result of feed lotting, i speculate that american bison naturally have to store up fat for the long cold prairie winter. so perhaps the few spots where a buffalo does store fat get pretty well marbled by the autumn. well, that worked out perfectly for my thanksgiving plans!
and yes, i did offer thanks to the tatanka spirit, and look forward to doing so again next year... hopefully with a few other CHers.
Actually the majority of bison that are raised commercially and slaughtered in federally regulated plants (rather than local state or provincial abbatoirs) are grain finished for a number of weeks before being killed in order to bump up the fat content. Grain finishing is done in a feed lot. Grain is not a natural food for bison, or cattle, and your best bet is to find a local farmer that you can buy from who does not grain finish his animals.
You're so lucky your buffalo came out well. I tried a buffalo rib roast last year, cooked it to medium-rare/rare, and it was tough and disappointing. I'd bought it at Cumbrae's in Toronto and paid a small fortune for it.
I've been sticking to grilling buffalo rib steaks from Whole Foods since, although the last time I bought them (vacuum-packed, well before best-before date), they were rotten (literally).
wow, that's astonishing. i swear this was remarkably tender, even the outer crustier pieces and even the leftovers. i guess i was lucky.
well maybe i'm right about the buffalo prime rib being fattier in the fall. was yours notably lean? did you get it in the spring?
ps, i had a buffalo rib eye steak at a ruth's chris a couple years ago, and it was very good too.