Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where's The Beef ?

Older American readers will get that reference !

Yesterday when we were shopping in Wal-Mart, I wanted to get some fresh meat for the bbq that we were having for supper.  I thought......pork chop, burger meat or even a chicken breast.

When we got to the meat aisle (all pink and tender in the middle....har har) there was nothing that took my fancy as I really only wanted ONE item of meat and not a multipack.  Then I noticed a small section of bison products !

Hmmmm bison meat.  That would be something cool to try if only just to SAY I'd tried it.  I love venison after all and bison is supposed to be similar in many ways.  As we were discussing it, a meat manager was nearby and overheard me saying I'd never eaten bison (hell I'd never even caught one before) and that, combined with my accent, led him to tell me all about the meat and which to try.  

Bison meat comes in many forms similar to beef......ribs, roasts, steaks and so on. It's a dense meat with very little fat or calories so a small portion will fill you up. Looking at the price, that's just as well !!  Over $10 a pound.

Anyway Mr. Manager slapped a reduced sticker on my meat (phnrrr phnrrr) and the choice was made.

I surfed for a bison meat site to check how long to cook it for and it warned that bison meat cooks very quickly so be sure to keep an eye on the time. That said, it still recommended 10 mins for medium at 325F so that's what my steak got.

I'll spare you a photo of it cooking on the bbq as it just looked like a beef steak.

So what was the verdict ?

Well the website had suggested I cooked the steak with no seasoning or sauces at all for the first time - to get the real taste of the meat. I was happy to do so as I expected a strong taste as with venison...and I got it.

Maybe it needed a little more grilling time as it was a bit too red in the middle for my liking but it cut easily and sure was tasty. I found it a bit tough but then I discovered afterwards that the cut was really at the low end of the quality scale so maybe Mr. Manager hadn't been as kind as I'd thought !

It was certainly filling too and I only ate half of it last night and will carve up the rest to have in a stir fry tonight. You can't tell from the photo but the steak was over an inch thick.

So really I can't say if I'd buy bison meat again based on last night.

Pros : VERY low fat and calories, much less than chicken for instance. More protein and nutrients and here in the US it's always sold with no additives - just 100% bison. Sweet, rich flavour.

Cons : Not cheap and is classed as a gourmet meat.

I wonder if my local Leeds supermarket stocks bison meat ?  I'll be checking them out on my return but given the price here, I can't imagine the price in England. We're not famous for herds of bison roaming around our countryside, after all.

Somehow I can't see the sequel to "Dances With Wolves" being set in West Yorkshire.


Daphne said...

I'm not adventurous with meat or fish so I don't think I'd try it - I know that's daft really and I'd try any vegetable, but I just don't fancy eating animals that I'm not used to eating! I'm glad you did though and quite right too, in your role as Intrepid Overseas Reporter.

Katie said...

sounds great, I love trying new things. I don't think you'll find it in morrisons tho.

CLS said...

umm excuse me but the only 'greens' I see are the decorations on the plate !!! Rice isn't a vegetable tsk tsk
some peppers - maybe a green and a yellow; pea pods would be good too


Cyclingscribe said...

Good for you Ian! I love Buffalo and, if I could afford to, I would eat more. Of course, I'm from Oklahoma.
Now, if you can find it, try Beefalo ... yes, a cow and buffalo hybrid.
Now, rabbit is big in Germany. I imagine it's a common food item in England, too?
Publix carries it sometimes, over in the seafood department in that deep freezer.

Silverback said...

I may have seen some once in Sainsburys, Katie. when everyone was trying out weird and wonderful kangaroo and ostrich.
Trouble is, everyone wanted a leg !

I wanted a photo of the meat really Clair, and of course went off to get the peppers and broccoli after putting the camera down.

Yeah right.

britoutofwater said...

I'm pretty sure that you can get bison/buffalo in the UK now, in some places. But when you can have venison, why would you bother?!

Oh, and ostrich is pretty tasty, I seem to remember...

Cyclingscribe said...

Have you tried Emu? There was a little place in Marlow, Oklahoma, that served Emu steaks. It's a very dark meat, on par, I imagine, with Ostrich. Very good flavor (better than chicken). :)

Silverback said...

An emu ? I'd never get one in my oven - but the giblets would be impressive.

Jay said...

Haha! Our older son parked some emu in our fridge recently - he'd been shopping in his lunch break and hadn't been home yet. It just looked like ordinary minced beef to me, but he said it was okay, but different. Buffalo .. isn't that just a big woolly cow anyway? Certainly a member of the bovine group I think. Did it taste much like beef?

Come to think of it, how would we know? I'd think most of the flavour has been bred out of our beef cattle by now.

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