Buffalo 101

August 06, 2012

Looking to try an alternative to beef? Buffalo or bison is your answer and here are some quick tips

What is Buffalo? 
The meat from the buffalo (bison), the largest animal of the bovine family. Tastes similar to beef in texture but is milder, with sweet edge. 

How to Buy: 
Sources are available in the supermarket and from online stores. Cuts are like beef: rib steaks and roasts, tenderloin, sirloin roasts and can also be purchased ground.

How to Read the Label: 
Most US buffalo are raised in pastures; look for grass-fed, pastured (non-confined) sources that are humanely harvested, most of which are raised in North Dakota. (Bison are raised throughout the US.)

How to Use: 
Because bison does not have the marbling of beef, sear it on both sides to help seal in natural juices. Bison cooks quicker than beef, so when first using, keep a careful eye and roast slowly, or when frying, don’t squeeze out the juice with your spatula. Can be grilled, broiled, roasted, pan fried, braised, or used any way you would cook beef. Adding a little olive oil or other fat helps keep it moist but lower temperatures, 275°F. for roasts, for example can also help. When broiling, place meat further away from heat. You can also use in a crock-pot for tasty stews.

How to Store: 
Store in the refrigerator at 40°F in original packaging. Use within three days. Can be frozen at 0°F in original packaging; if freezing for long periods, double wrap.

Health Benefits: 
Buffalo (bison) has fewer calories than beef or chicken and about ¼ the fat of beef and 1/3 the fat of chicken. It has slightly less cholesterol as well. High in omega 3 and iron; low in saturated fat.

Smarter Shopping:
While higher in price than beef, the lack of extraneous fat means more meat and nutrition for the money. 

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