Meat the Butcher: BisonJuly 25, 2013
Bison, also known as “The North American Buffalo” or “America’s original red meat” is the meat lover’s perfect protein. While the Meat House offers several exotic and game meats, bison is quickly becoming a customer favorite. It’s known for its rich flavor but contains far less fat and cholesterol than beef or chicken . In recent years, bison has become highly popular in health magazines and organizations , like the American Heart Association (AHA) for its lean properties but savory taste. In fact, bison is an approved part of AHA, Mediterranean and Paleo diets
Facts aside, bison is downright delicious! It can be prepared in a multitude of ways including, steaks, sausages, hot dogs and most popularly at The Meat House, as a burger.
Bison cuts are very similar to that of a cow. Burgers are primarily made up of chuck meat, while steak cuts vary depending on type- i.e. tenderloin, sirloin, etc. The major difference between bison and beef is that bison is not graded like beef, due to the lack of muscular fat, which is how beef is mainly graded. Also, per government regulations bison aren’t given any hormones or injections, which is another reason it’s so highly praised by the health community.
Bison is a versatile meat that can be cooked and seasoned many ways; however, there are three key factors to remember:
- 1/3 Cooking time: It’s important to note that when preparing bison, it cooks 25-35% faster than beef due to the lack of fat.
- 1/3 Heat: Whether cooking burgers or steaks, it’s recommended that bison is never served past medium-rare or 130-135 degrees because if cooked past this point it can get tough. When setting the temperature or grilling, try to be conscientious of keeping the heat at about 1/3 of what you normally would for beef. It’s common to cut meat too soon based on color, so its best to trust your meat thermometer.
- Rest: Bison needs to rest anywhere between 5-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the cut. As with red meat, letting the meat rest is crucial in locking in the juices and keeping the best flavor.
Bison is similar to the steaks and burgers you’re familiar with, but has a bigger, bolder flavor with a hint of salty sweetness. While it’s naturally healthy, it still boasts a rich red meat flavor and tender juicy texture.
It can be grilled, broiled, baked or seared – just like your favorite beef products. No matter how you slice it, bison is a tasty and healthy alternative to put into your dinner mix.
*Bison availability many vary store to store. Be sure to talk to your local butcher about availability and cuts.