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The other red meat

A simple, hearty sauce over ziti.

A simple, hearty sauce over ziti.

  • A simple, hearty sauce over ziti.
  • In goes a can of diced tomatoes.
  • The label brings to mind fond memories of trips out West.

By Lisa Waddle, managing editor

March 16th, 2009

I’ve been a fan of bison ever since restaurants started serving the no-longer-endangered beasts, but shied away from cooking it at home. My few tries had been disappointing, due to bison’s leanness (2.42 grams of fat compared to 18.54 in 3.5 oz. of choice beef). While that makes for a welcome nutritional profile (bison is also higher in iron and lower in cholesterol than beef), the lack of lubrication means it’s easier to end up with rubbery, dry meat.

All that changed when my husband brought home a pound of ground bison from our local supermarket (I think he was taken with the cute label). Going right to the source, I found a wealth of cooking tips on the National Bison Association’s Web site. The advice that worked for me: cook ground bison with diced vegetables, which add moisture. I sautéed diced onion, celery, carrot, and minced garlic, added the bison to brown, and then poured in a can of diced tomatoes along with their juice. A toss of cumin and cinnamon complemented bison’s slightly sweet flavor, and I ended up with a robust meat sauce to top ziti, juicy and full of flavor.

I’m ready to try more. Any good bison recipes you’re willing to share?


posted in: Blogs, Lisa Waddle, cooking now, dinner, meat, bison
Comments (4)

Eiquilt writes: We have recently been the lucky recipients of about 50 pounds of bison, including ground meat, steaks and roasts. I've been having fun preparing all sorts of wonderful new recipes. So far, so delicious. Next in line is the Blue Cheese and Bacon Meatloaf from this site. Posted: 5:54 pm on January 11th

2newfcook writes: We are fortunate enough to have a local bison farm near us. They slaughter the animal and age it, then sell it. The trick with bison is to NOT overcook it due to the lack of marbling (fat). That only works if you like your red meat rare (which I do). It is an excellent alternative to beef. Posted: 5:27 pm on March 18th

GeorgeCooks writes: I've had bison at Ted's Montana Grill and thought it was delicious. I'll have to look for it in my grocery store. I'd love to do bison burgers on the grill. Posted: 1:16 pm on March 16th

pumkinfolk writes: Thanks for the reminder that bison/buffalo is available at the grocery store meat counter, a smart alternative to the overbearing mega-business of steak and hamburger. Bison is an early-America tradition that is making a comeback. Thank you, Fine Cooking, for showing us what's possible. Posted: 8:57 am on March 16th

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