For me, one of the best things about eating buffalo is that it’s one of the last bits of wild food in the American diet. Buffalo are rugged, tough and untamed, as you’ll see by their gamey, meaty flavor.
There are lots of benefits to eating buffalo, one of which is that it contains more iron and protein than beef, and some studies show that it is lower in cholesterol and fat, but of course this depends on the part of the animal that you are eating as well as it’s diet and how old it was when it was slaughtered. This is true of all animals though.
The best way to eat it is anywhere you might find yourself eating beef. So burgers are top choice, as are steaks and roasts. Due to the low fat content and gamey flavor, it’s best served medium rare or even rare if you can eat it that way. Overcook it, and it will be much drier than beef. Marinades help as does long slow cooking of roasts.
The flavor is not as gamey as you might expect, since bison are wild, but it does have a flavor that takes some getting used to if you are used to eating mostly factory farmed and raised beef. It’s tender and juicy and has a mildly sweet flavor that I love, but again, takes some getting used to.
The first time I tried it, the first thing I noticed was that it has a much deeper, darker color than beef. If you’ve ever had venison, it’s similar to that.
If you’ve never had it, the best way to ease yourself in are by making burgers or even getting some pre-made at a place like Whole Foods. They even have some that have bacon and cheese mixed with the meet. Start with something like this and I guarantee you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a buffalo burger and a standard beef burger. After that, the move to steaks and roasts will be a natural, delicious transition.
While it is becoming more common to eat buffalo, you still might find it hard to find in some places, and it will probably be more expensive, but when you compare the overall health benefits as well as the effects eating buffalo has on the environment (they’re not factory farmed, so this is a huge plus for the Earth!), you’ll see there’s not much reason not to try it. If more people try it, it might catch on and become more mainstream meat, maybe even more so than beef. Let’s just hope that the big factory farms don’t catch on, otherwise all the benefits will be lost.
Do you eat buffalo? If so what’s your favorite way? I’d love to hear your thoughts!