The Bison which once could be seen on the great plains of Northern America was almost completely exinct. Around the beginning of this century there were only 28 bisons left on the whole continent. From that time, some Americans started to wake up and were concerned that this animal (which was a big part of their great American history), would be extinct and therefore they started breeding it. Bisons are the largest family members of our cattle, only some types of Brahman (zebu's), Yaks and Muscoxes are larger than they are.
The wild bison's original home were the great plains in the eastern parts of Canada and the United States..
These days there are no real wild animals left. Today the United States of America has a herd of about 300,000 animals. Canada has a herd of approximately 200,000.
Only the bulls are being slaughtered. There is no slaughter or breeding season, the meat can be obtained all year. Each farmer only supplies the number of bulls the slaughterhouse needs. Naturally most of the sales are concentrated in the end of the year, because bison is considered as a game meat. The leading country of import is France.
Bison meat is considered more tender and of better quality than the good races of beef, such as Angus, Limosin and Charolais. The meat is dark red and has a slight line of fat in it. Deboned knuckle, topside and rumps make superb steaks. Bison meat should be prepared similar to beef.
Most of the meat imported from Canada and the United States are hindleg cuts and shoulder cuts. This is because of the very high price level of entrecotes and tenderloins in the U.S.A. Cuts are named the American way, which means the cuts sold are: ribeye, striploin, rump, knuckle, thick flank. However in Canada the cuts are the same, but they have been given the French names: entrecote, filet, etc.
Buffalo Steaks with Jack Daniels Sauce
Ingredients (Serves 6):
6 boneless Buffalo rib steaks (10 ounces each)
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots or green onion
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cup beef stock
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons green peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/2 cup plus 5 tablespoons Jack Daniels or other high-quality bourbon
1/2 heavy cream (optional)
salt and freshly ground white pepper
drops of fresh lemon juice
Season buffalo steaks with salt and pepper to taste and let them rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Make sauce: In a saucepan, sauté shallots and mushrooms in 2 tablespoon butter until golden brown. Add stock, wine, 1/2 cup bourbon, 1 tablespoon of the peppercorns; reduce over medium heat by half. Add cream and reduce to a light sauce consistency. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter little by little. Add remaining 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 5 tablespoons bourbon, and lemon juice to taste, keep warm.
Sauté buffalo steaks in butter until medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with sauce.
Thanks to: American Game Cooking / John Ash & Sid Goldstein