This month, as an Allrecipe Allstar, I was given the opportunity to expand my palate and experience one of the best healthy animal protein options out there today...bison. I fully admit, my experience with bison has been very limited. Bison do not roam the prairies of Ohio...(wait, there are no prairies in Ohio!) I remember having a bison burger one time in a local restaurant years ago. I remember it being good...but that's where my bison story ends.
I was very excited to be a part of this campaign with The Bison Council and Allrecipes. So I began my adventures with bison by going onto The Bison Council's website and educating myself a bit on the wonders of bison. The Bison Council's website is great resource for all things bison.
Here's what I learned...
Did you know, bison is the better choice when it comes to meat? You get all the flavor of a red meat without all the fat and cholesterol. It's lower in cholesterol than even chicken! Check out the chart below:
|(graphic courtesy of The Bison Council)|
Early in the assignment we were given a list of recipes to choose from using bison. I chose the Sizzling Bison Stir Fry recipe because it used a cut of bison I had never tried (rib eye) and my family loves a good stir fry.
When my package arrived from High Plains Bison (the company supplying the bison for this assignment) I was really excited. I had no idea what the bison steaks would look like, let alone taste like. (I only wish now that I had gotten a shot of the raw vacuum packaged steaks!) Inside the box were 4-9 oz. rib eye steaks! They looked very comparable to beef rib eye steaks, but darker in color and with less marbling.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical using rib eye in a stir fry. I was even more skeptical once I read that because of the lower fat content in bison, it should be cooked at a lower temperature than other animal proteins and the steaks should be served med/rare for best flavor. Traditionally, a stir fry is made using high heat, to sear the meat and vegetables quickly. The directions for this stir fry recipe did, indeed, instruct you to cook it on med/high to high heat, so although it is NOT what is recommended for bison steaks, I did as the recipe said.
The Sizzling Bison Stir Fry recipe for me, was just ok. At first taste, I enjoyed it, but by the end of the meal there were a few negatives. The positives were the sauce had good flavor, the meal was very quick to put together, and there is just no denying the health benefits of bison. The negatives in this recipe were the bison ended up a little chewy and with a slightly off flavor. I can't say whether it was the sauce or the cooking method that is to blame.
I was a bit disappointed...
all of the other Allstars were raving about how delicious their bison was! :(
But thankfully, I had two more steaks to prepare any way I chose. (thank you Bison Council for your generosity!) I don't know about you, but the only way I like to enjoy a rib eye is grilled. I searched The Bison Council's site for a recipe, and ended up making a very simple, but very delicious one...Char-grilled Bison Ribeye Steak with Creamed Corn and Spinach.
I cooked the steaks to rare-med/rare (120 degrees F on my instant read meat thermometer) on bit lower temperature than I would normally cook beef steaks on, then let them rest for 10 minutes loosely covered with foil.
|.Char-grilled Bison Ribeye Steak with Creamed Corn and Spinach.|
FINALLY! I could see what everyone was raving about! THIS was obviously the way to prepare bison ribeye steak because it was DELICIOUS. It was tender, and juicy, and flavorful. I had only planned on eating half a steak, but it was so good, I ended up eating the entire thing...guilt free because of the lower fat and calorie content of bison! I honestly COULD NOT TELL the difference between this steak and a beef steak. In fact, side by side, I would choose the bison steak prepared this way over the beef for taste and nutrition.
I wish my photos were better quality. Truth is, after I tasted the first slice of this steak, all I wanted to do was sit down and eat it. So I didn't have the patience to play around with lighting and the camera! (and for the record, I'm not ever really happy about less natural light, thanks to the changing seasons, to take pictures in!)
So ends, this exciting (for me anyway!) adventure with bison rib eye steaks. I am really happy it ends on a happy note. I would like to try other cuts of bison in the future, if they became available for purchase in my area. I have seen ground bison at the stores, but that's where the selection ends. Such a shame, because bison has so much to offer.
How about you? Do you have any experience eating or cooking with bison? If so, I'd love to hear about it!
The Bison Council has teamed up with Allrecipes to spread the word about delicious, nutritious bison via Allstars such as myself. (Disclaimer: I was provided with product for this recipe via Allrecipes as part of the Allstars program. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.)