Buffalo meat is one of America's favorite exotic meats. Tender, lean and very tasty, it is the perfect substitute for beef at your next barbeque or dinner party.
In fact, A.D. Livingston, author of books on venison, trout, bass, wild turkey, shellfish, saltwater fish, duck & goose, sausage, steaks, cast-iron cooking, grilling, smoking, whole grains, making fishing lures, and playing poker, says: "The American buffalo might well make the best T-bone steak I've ever eaten. The animal provides a rich, red meat with a slightly sweet taste."
As the other red meat -- bison meat is lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in protein than beef, pork or chicken. Yet you can not only find all the usual cuts of buffalo meats for roasts, ribs, steaks, burgers but even, believe it or not, hot dogs.
Commonly called buffalo but more accurately referred to as American Bison, these creatures once numbered in the millions but were killed off in great numbers during America's westward expansion as they were hunted for their hides and even for sport. By 1890, less than 1,000 bison remained.
Today, special farms and buffalo reserves have allowed this great symbol of the wild wild west to not only make a full recovery from the endangered species lists, but now grace the finest dining tables again.
Other common hybrids of this exotic meat include buffolo and beefalo, which are simply specialized cross-breeds between buffalo and cows.
Choosing a great cut of buffalo meat is just a click away ...
For a simple but tasty "rub," buffalo steaks can be rubbed with a combination of garlic salt, olive oil, ground black pepper and lemon juice for a natural, zippy flavor. The best tasting buffalo meat is cooked rare to medium rare, (and occasionally medium, but never, ever do it 'well done' because overcooking buffalo steak turns it dry, tough and chewy).
Buffalo can be used in any beef recipe. However, there is a difference cooking or grilling buffalo meat because buffalo has no marbling or fat within the muscle. Therefore, it cooks much faster than beef.
Do not overcook buffalo! Always use low heat and slower cooking times than for beef. For instance, when substituting beef with buffalo (or beefalo), set your oven to 275 degrees (or 50 degrees less than the beef recipe called for).
Another tip for perfect buffalo steaks, set the grill to a much lower temperature and turn the steak often. However, never use a fork to turn buffalo steaks. Using a fork often punctures the skin, leaving the bison meat dry. And I can't emphasize enough: Don't over cook buffalo - use a timer and follow the directions.
Cooking buffalo with olive oil helps to keep the meat moist. Use onions and mushrooms with any buffalo you cook for an extra delicious taste.
Cooking times vary, depending on the size and cut of buffalo meat with which you are working:
Prior to cooking, bison meat is dark red — almost red brown. This coloring is due to the fact that buffalo meat does not marble (produce fatty white streaks through the meat) like beef. So I'll say it one last time: Don't over-cook buffalo steaks or roasts.
Buffalo meat is a nutritious and delicious alternative to other red meat. High in B vitamins, iron and protein, this flavorful meat is also surprisingly lower in cholesterol and fat than chicken, fish, or turkey.