The majestic buffalo is native to the lands of North America. Buffalo (Bison) numbering in the hundreds of millions once roamed freely across our prairies. As our culture expanded to the west, it resulted in near extinction of these great herds. Even a century ago, fewer than one thousand of these magnificent animals remained on our soil. Thanks to dedicated individuals, Native Americans, private ranchers (Ted Turner!) and conservationists, these animals have returned from the brink of extinction and are no longer endangered. Today’s buffalo are raised by farmer’s and rancher’s, where the buffalo roam (sorry, had to say it!) grazing on green grasses.
But how does it taste, you ask? Many people are afraid to try it because they think it will be tough with a wild game flavor. Far, far from it. Buffalo meat is tender, flavorful, and sweet, but more importantly, it packs a nutritional punch. The American Heart Association recommends bison meat for a heart healthy diet due to its low fat and cholesterol content. Buffalo is high in protein, iron, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Bison grazing on green grass have a very healthy fat. Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated nucleic acid) help in controlling weight and fighting cancers. These fatty acids are deficient in most American diets. While listing all the benefits in the bison meat, we shouldn’t forget what is not in the meat. There are no growth hormones, steroids, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics. Buffalo are both environmentally friendly and people friendly. The chart below shows a comparison of buffalo to other meats.
Buffalo has a place in our menu planning, and more and more, you will be seeing buffalo cookbooks such as this one from the Missouri Bison Association. You can cook any dish with buffalo as you would other meats. Buffalo burgers are outstanding, as are recipes for crockpot meals, pasta dishes, roasts, soups, and salads. My husband bought me this cookbook when he was at a bison ranch buying various cuts of meat. We discovered the health benefits of buffalo after he had a heart attack about five years ago. So give it a try! I think you will be delighted with the results.
Oh, give me a home…..
(you know the rest!)