The Top or Loin section would include a variety of steak and roast cuts all coming from the short loin (T-Bone, Porterhouse, & Strip Steak).Bison should be processed between the ages of eighteen months and two and a half years.As with other meats, the animal's age plays a major factor in the tenderness of the meat.
The taste of Bison need not be an acquired one; there is no gamey quality only a subtle sweetness and a closely related taste to that of the traditional red meat of prime beef.Bison meat will differ slightly in taste depending on where the Bison was raised, ranged, and if it has been custom fed with a grain base. With its obvious similarities to beef, Bison can be substituted in all recipes requiring red meat; but it must be cooked differently.Due to the lack of natural fat in Bison meat, to retain its natural tender textue, juicyness, and flavor, it is essential that this meat not be overcooked.The density of this meat provides a more satisfying portion, allowing for a reduction in quantity per person which equates also to cost of serving.
Bison needs to be COOKED SLOW ANDLOW, not as thoroughly as beef (specifically rare to medium).With the fat content of bison being so low, this meat can be eaten rare with no concern over additional fat content.Other meats, if eaten rare, will contain a higher fat content than those well cooked.
HOT OFF THE BBQ RIBS
BUFFALO BEER BRATS
ZESTY BUFFALO MEATLOAF
CHUCKWAGON BUFFALO STEW
Basic Buffalo Cooking Tips
There is no such thing as tough buffalo meat,only improperly instructed cooks. Although buffalo meat is similar to beef, it needs to be handled and cooked differently. You will find most recipes for other red meats can be adapted to buffalo. The important things to remember are, DO NOT OVER COOK, and do not let the meat dry out. Individual cuts of buffalo appear identical to beef, except for color. Prior to cooking, buffalo meat is darker -- a dark, rich red. This coloring is due to the fact that buffalo meat does not marble (produce internal streaks of fat) like beef. Fat is an insulator and heat must first penetrate this insulation before the cooking process begins. In other red meats, fat also provides some of the moisture. Buffalo, with its low fat content, does not need to be cooked as long with as high a temperature to get the job done.
Remember "low and slow," Cook buffalo meat to the same doneness that you prefer in beef. We recommend medium. Overcooked or dried out buffalo meat will bring you the same results as other meats that are overcooked -- something nearly as palatable as an old boot. If you must have your meat well done, consider one of the very low temperature (180-200 F) recipes, where the meat is cooked for 10 hours or more. Very slow, moist heat works especially well with the less tender cuts of buffalo, such as chuck. There is nothing to compare with a buffalo chuck roast cooked all day in a slow cooker. With slow cooking, you do not have to worry about over-cooking, let it cook until it falls apart. Researchers at the South Dakota State University Experiment Station tested different cuts of buffalo roast cooked at different temperatures and with different methods. Taste panels then evaluated the roasts according to texture, juiciness and tenderness. In general, as the oven temperature increased and the internal temperature of the roast rose to well done -- texture, juiciness and tenderness scores went down. The most acceptable meat is produced when cooked in a slow oven (275 F) to a medium internal temperature. Plan on the roast being done in the same amount of time a beef roast of comparable size would be when cooked at the usual (higher) temperature. Use of a meat thermometer is helpful and is highly recommended.
For steak or burgers ... medium heat is recommended and it is even more important to not drive off the internal moisture. Particularly for ground meat or any kind, the FDA has recommended for restaurants that meat be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 F. The US Department of Agriculture recommends 160 F for home use, and because of the difficulty in determining the internal temperature of a burger patty without special equipment, recommends that burger patties be cooked to the point where the pink is just disappearing. In order for the meat to retain its moisture, it is most helpful to use a top, whether it is the cover on a propane gas grill, a covered charcoal grill, or the lid on a sauté pan (skillet). Burger patties made by hand, some 6 ounces and about 1/2 to 5/8 inches thick do much better at retaining their moisture than the machine made variety used by the fast food restaurants. Many professional chefs and meat distributors to the HRI trade (hotels, restaurants and institutions) do not recommend an oven broiler for cooking steaks, particularly buffalo steaks or burgers. They say to use a grill or covered sauté pan.
Ground buffalo meat may be used as a substitute for ground beef in most recipes. Since ground buffalo contains very little fat, once again moderate temperatures will help insure that the meat does not scorch. With ground buffalo meat, what you see raw is what you get when it is cooked, as the meat does not shrink in cooking.
Microwave cooking is as possible with buffalo as it is with beef or any other red meat. Using a lower setting will give you better control over the cooking process. Avoid over-cooking. Products from a microwave oven continue to cook for several minutes after the oven is turned off, whether removed from the oven or not.
Stir fry is an excellent method of cooking bison. Cut the meat into small strips or cubes. Be sure to use just a drop of olive oil or a polyunsaturated oil to coat the pan. Remember, bison cooks quickly so have your onion, green and red peppers, pea pods, etc. ready to toss in the wok. Heat the oil only enough to sear the meat, toss the meat quickly around, and then add the other foods. Proceed as the recipe calls for but keeping the heat down some. The short cooking times in stir fry recipes are excellent for cooking bison.
A WORD OF CAUTION..
STEAMIN' BUFFALO FAJITAS
FRESH BUFFALO KABOBS
CAUTION WHEN ROUNDING UP YOUR BISON... OR DEFROSTING IT!
The best way to defrost, that recommended by USDA, is to place the package in your refrigerator for 24 hours. A second method is to first defrost only enough to remove the wrapper material, then defrost during cooking, add one third to one half the cooking time. Be careful about completely defrosting a meat package in a microwave oven. Because defrosting in a microwave partially cooks the meat, it will have an effect on the conventional cooking method and time and may result is a product that tastes mushy. Speaking of mushy taste, we strongly advise against defrosting your meat, then trying to re-freeze. If your meat is partially defrosted, that is if there are still ice crystals throughout the package, then the USDA guidelines say it is all right to re-freeze. We agree, but if you have a borderline case, make your decision in favor of not re-freezing.
Son, Chad Hunter Keepin'em In
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