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Tips for Handling & Cooking Bison

Allow your Buffalo meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Cook your meat slower and on a lower temperature than you do with beef. We recommend rare to medium, well done will tend to dry the meat out.

The color of Buffalo is a darker red because it is high in myoglobin. A protein that carries oxygen to the blood. When Buffalo is cooked to medium, it will look like rare beef.

Broiling & Grilling Buffalo:
Preheat the broiler for at least 5 min. Lower your broiler rack a notch down from where your broiling beef. If grilling, raise your grill a notch, and use a lower heat. Use long handled tongs to turn your steaks. This will avoid piercing the meat and allowing flavorful juices to escape. Cooking time is important in order not to overcook your steaks.

· 1" Rare: 6-8 min. Medium: 10-12 min.

· 1 1/2" Rare: 10-12 min. Medium: 14-18 min.

· 2" Rare: 14-20 min. Medium: 20-25 min.

Most beef is roasted at 325°F, with Buffalo turn your temperature down to 275°F. Your roast will be done in the same amount of time as a beef roast would in the same size. We recommend using a meat thermometer to indicate the internal temperature. Use the same temperatures you would for beef. Cover your roast with aluminium foil or use a roasting bag to retain the juices and moisture. For the perfect Buffalo roast the key is low temperature and high moisture.

Ground Buffalo & Buffalo Patties:
Buffalo burger is about 88-92% lean, so cook with caution! Again, lower heat will be the key here. Internal temperature will be about 160°F. Remember the thicker the patty, the juicier the burger. We recommend rare to medium-rare for Buffalo Patties, & medium-rare for ground Buffalo.


Bison Stroganoff

Serves: 4-6

2 lbs, Buffalo round steak
2 medium onions, diced
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 cans tomato soup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 6-oz cans mushrooms
2 Tbsp. mustard
Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint sour cream

Sauté onions in butter or margarine. Brown meat in separate pan. Add tomato soup (rinse out can with 1/2-1 cup water), brown sugar, onions, mushrooms and mustard to meat. Cook slowly for 1 hour. Season with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Add sour cream and cook for 15 more minutes. Serve over noodles or rice. (Add more brown sugar and mustard if desired.)


Roast Crab-apple Bison

5-6 lbs Buffalo roast, boneless
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp all spice

2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 cup crab-apple jelly

Season roast with salt, pepper and garlic. Tie roast with cooking twine and place in covered baking dish. Roast in preheated oven at 275 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Combine 1/4 cup orange juice, lemon juice and allspice to form marinade and baste meat frequently. To make the glaze, mix melted butter,2Tbsp. orange juice and crab-apple jelly to bowl. 30 minutes before roast is done, uncover and brush meat with glaze and continue roasting until desired doneness.


Southern Fried Bison

3 lbs Buffalo steak
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 bouillon cubes or can of beef broth
1 heaping Tbsp. Lipton's onion Soup mix
2 heaping tsp cornstarch

Mix black pepper and flour in shaker bag and coat steaks. Preheat oil in deep skillet. Brown both sides of steak. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour off excess oil. Return to pan and add onion, garlic, bouillon or broth, and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Add soup mix and stir. Add meat, then cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Remove bison and make gravy by mixing cornstarch with 1 cup cold water. Stir until desired thickness. Return steaks to gravy and serve.


Sweet And Sour Meatballs

Serves: 4-6

1 lb. ground Bison
4 cups bread crumbs
1 egg
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
cooking oil
1 can golden mushroom soup
2 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. Soy sauce

Combine Buffalo, bread crumbs, egg. Onion and garlic. Form mixture into balls and fry in oil until brown. Remove from heat. Combine soup, vinegar, tomatoes, sugar and soy sauce in pan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add meatballs, remove from heat and serve.


Buffalo Kabobs

Serves: 4-6

2 lbs Bison, cubed
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 Tbsp. ginger, chopped
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 garlic clove, crushed
dash of Tabasco

Combine all ingredients and pour over meat. Refrigerate overnight. Skewer meat kabob-style alone or with mushrooms, onion, peppers and tomatoes. Barbecue kabobs on grill and serve.

Smoked/Dry Meat (Dry meat can only be made from buffalo, moose, deer and elk).

Cut up the meat in thin slices, hang it up on a meat rack over slightly lit smoking logs. After a full day turn over the meat to dry and smoke evenly. Let the meat hang over the smoke for at least 3-4 days until its completely hard and then its ready to serve.


Pemican, pemmican - def. Lean dried meat pounded fine and mixed with melted fat; used especially by North American Indians.
To make pemican you must first roast 4-5 slices of dried meat in the oven for approximately 20 minutes at a 375 temperature. You would then wrap the roasted meat in canvas, pound it down between two solid objects till it turns into coarse powder. The powder is then mixed with the fat of the animal. This moistens the powder and adds more flavor to the pemican. It is then ready to be eaten either on bannock or just plainly.

To make "Pemican" that will KEEP: take jerked or dried beef strips and pound them to a powder or pulp, mix with fat (warm) beef tallow, sugar and raisins. Put in bladders or skins and tie up tight, (Used extensively by Arctic and other Explorers and if kept air tight will last for years).

Pemican is the main ingredient in a trail stew called 'rubaboo'. 


Cheadle's Journal:  A Trip Across Canada 1862- 1863 describes Rubaboo as made by boiling a large piece of pemican or dry meat the size of one's fist in a large quantity of water, thickened by a single handful of flour.  The chunks of pemican will fall apart. Add onions, turnips, asparagus, parsley, sage, bullrush root, cattail heads, dandelion root, wild parsnip, wild carrots, pine nuts, mushrooms, daylily roots, or wild rice to make an appetizing stew.

Another source, The Great Fur Opera by Kildare Dobbs, offers a somewhat disenchanted version of the recipe for making pemican. 

'Find some old, dried-out ends of meat and cut off the hard outside crusts.  Pound these to dust in a mortar.  Add mouldy raisins, buckshot, and a jug of melted, rancid animal fat.  Sprinkle with long black hairs and poodle-clippings.  Stir.  Pour into an old shoe and chill.  After six months, a greenish fur will have grown on the pemican.  Remove and keep this:  it's pemicillin!


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Last Updated: February 22, 2005