Sometimes I’m so lucky to come across bison meat in the grocery store, and tonight I made some for dinner! I normally don’t eat a lot of red meat, as it’s typically higher in fat and hence I can eat less of it. I love my protein and want to eat lots, so am always on the look out for leaner alternatives. Bison is buffalo meat, and much leaner than beef. Per 100 grams (3.5 oz) bison only has 2.4 g fat (compared to 9.28 g for beef and 7.41 g for chicken), and 143 calories (chicken gives 190 cal, beef 211!). Bison makes for a very natural choice for dieters, athletes and health conscious people. As with any meat, bison can vary in nutritional value based on their feeding environment (I choose grass fed always as opposed to corn fed), breeding, genetics, and even the time of year the bison is harvested. Making a conscious choice to pick meat from farms that adhere to organic and sustainable practices is important. You can also buy ground bison to make healthy burgers – I sometimes choose this alternative that for lunch. In addition to the obvious great source of protein, bison also provides a good source of B12, zinc, niacin and selenium.
Because of the lack of marbling (white streaks of fat through the meat), bison needs to be cooked at lower temperature than beef although it should be completed in the same manner. I like mine medium rare – note that it’s very easy to overcook this meat. I seared my bison steak whole quickly on both sides, and served it with a cup of cooked pearled barley, with a sauteed medley of onion, garlic, edamame (or you can use green peas), tomatoes and finally mango for sweetness. I seasoned the bison steak with a biryani spice mix (coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon) and added some to the sauteed vegetables and fruit as well. Here’s a couple of photos of the dish:
Try bison the next time if you are craving red meat but don’t want to compromise on calories or fat – it’s similar to venison or other game meat in taste with a rich, complex and earthy taste. Yummy!