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Sirloin Steak Salad

Some days it gets too hot to eat hot dishes. This was a delightful salad, loaded with local mixed greens from Hartwood Farm and topped with a sliced sirloin that was cooked quickly in a frying pan on the stove top. Non-local diced cucumbers, sweet peppers and tomatoes (and we can’t wait for the good ones to harvest locally). Green onions from the garden, feta cheese and some chopped green olives made it sing.

House made salad dressing is a white balsamic (3 tbsp), with olive oil(1/2 cup), 1 garlic clove crushed, and 1 tsp anchovy paste. So good!

Some of you with good eyes might recognize that Garlicky Goodness on top of the steak. We don’t sell it any more, but it is easy to make for yourself. Just get your hands on some nice tender scapes, chop into smaller pieces and then puree in a food processor or blender with olive oil. Add some nice sea salt. Keep it thick and in your refrigerator and then you can thin to use as a topping for bison steaks, a spoonful in salad dressing or make a great sour cream dip. Our scapes came from Clean Slate Farm, and we used up the last of our local Syracuse Salt.

More than burgers

A bison burger straight off a grill is a great meal. If you’re ready for a change of pace, consider some of these ideas.

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesday here at Empire Buffalo. Just a quick cook in a frying pan, add your own seasonings or a packet and dinner is ready!
Here’s a stuffed pepper, Mexican style with a quick blender enchilada sauce. You can keep the carbs down by using chopped mushroom as well as rice and seasoned meat. If you’re not in Mexican mode, then season it with Italian spices and a red sauce.
Lasagna is a great way to feed a crowd. Just substitute ground bison in your favorite recipe!

Bison Steak: Grill or Frying Pan?

Maybe it’s the wind on the back deck, but recently we’ve become converts to cooking steaks indoors. Here’s how we do it.

  • Make sure your meat is at room temperature. We season with salt and pepper and sometimes just a little olive oil.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  • Heat a cast iron pan that can easily hold all the steaks (no crowding) smoking hot.
  • Place the steaks in the pan on the stove top. Cook for 3 or so minutes, flip (use your tongs not a fork!) and put the pan in the oven. Cook for about 5 minutes or until your meat thermometer gives you a number you like.
  • Remember bison cooks about a third faster than beef, so be sure and use your meat thermoter. We tend to pull steaks out of the oven around 120 degrees, knowing that the temperature will continue to rise and generally eat steaks at around 130 degrees for a Medium Rare. We don’t recommend cooking steaks over 140 degrees. 160 degrees is very well done bison meat.
  • Take out of cast iron pan and let rest for 10 minute before serving.

Tips for Cooking Bison

Defrost. The hardest part about cooking bison is to remember to defrost it! Ideally that is done in the refrigerator for one or two days. If that didn’t happen, an alternate approach is to put the frozen pack on a cold cast iron pan, make sure it is out of direct sunlight. This is far better than a water bath.

It cooks fast. Because bison is so lean, it cooks about a third faster than beef. Yes, it really can cook that fast. We prefer it medium rare, use the same temperatures you would for beef.

Don’t play around with the ground. Bison meat has a shorter protein strand than beef, so if you are using it for tacos or spaghetti, don’t stir it around too much in the frying pound or you’ll end up with a really fine crumble. We usually add the cooked ground meat to the end of a recipe instead of a long simmered sauce.