I must be feeling carnivorous lately because last week I wrote about burgers and today I am writing about buffalo. Truth be told, I’m generally not a big meat lover, but after eating buffalo a number of times now, I have to say that I prefer it over beef. I find the flavor less ‘meaty’, if that makes any sense, and a bit more sweet, mild and subtle.
I also like that nutritionally buffalo is much better for you than beef. It is lower in calories, cholesterol and fat (it even has less fat than turkey or chicken) and is very high in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Unlike most cows, most buffalo are raised on ranches and allowed to roam free and graze on grass. Because they are raised in a cleaner, healthier environment and tend to grow at a faster pace than cows, buffalo meat is also antibiotic and hormone free.
I buy my buffalo at organic food stores, like Whole Foods, and most commonly see New York steaks, rib eyes and ground meat, but there are other cuts available. Because it is so lean, it is a little less forgiving than beef when it comes to cooking, but it’s a pretty easy skill to master with a little bit of practice. Just be sure to cook it quickly over high heat and most importantly, don’t overcook it, or it will become dry and tough.
So the next time you’re heading to the meat counter to buy a juicy steak or to make some burgers, consider giving buffalo a try instead. I expect you will be pleasantly surprised by what you taste. If you can't find buffalo meat locally, a number of ranchers are now offering their meats for sale online. The Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co., Blue Stem Buffalo Ranch and NorthStar Bison are just a few of the ranches out there.