My buddy Mike Deming called and told me about his upcoming trip to New Mexico hunting the American Bison. I mentioned that I would be tickled to have a chunk of steak from one to play with for a recipe. A few days later he called and told me that he was successful on the hunt and harvested a nice meat Bison. He not only had a hunk of back strap for me, but the heart as well. Now that is a good friend! I happened to be up in Utah for the week-end and enthusiastically hustled over to the Sportsman’s News office.
To clear up some confusion, the American Bison is sometime called a Buffalo, but it is not a “Buffalo”. There are two types of Buffalo, the Cape buffalo and the Water buffalo. They are not native to North America as the Bison is.
This cooking method works really well to give the meat an incredible sear, and a perfect medium rare finish. The sauce is rich and flavorful, and really makes for a decadent meal instead of just a grilled steak. If you can’t get your hands on a Bison steak, try this method with any type of Venison or even a beef steak. This has become one of my favorite ways to cook a steak, and it is really easy to whip up any type of sauce in the pan after the meat has cooked.
- 2 pounds of Bison steak cut 1 ½ inch thick
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of butter cut into ¼” pats
- 3 cloves coarsely chopped garlic
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
- ¼ cup diced shallots
- 1 ounce Whiskey
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon stone ground course mustard
You will need a heavy cast-iron skillet large enough to fit your steak in. This is a two-step process that begins on the stove top and moves to the oven. Let your Bison meat warm to room temperature for 30 minutes or so. Pre-heat your broiler as high as it will go and move the rack as close to the top as your oven allows. Heat the vegetable oil in the pan over high heat on the stove. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper. Place the steak in the skillet and do not move it. Let sear for three minutes until a crisp crust appears on the bottom of the meat. Remove from the stove and place the steak on a cutting board. Cut the steak into 3 inch chunks.
Place the steak seared side up back into the pan. Top the pieces with the chopped garlic and pats of butter. Place cast iron pan directly into the broiler. Close the oven and let cook 3-4 minutes depending on how you like your steak. Remove the meat to a serving tray and leave the remaining juices in the pan to make the sauce.
Put the beef broth, shallots, and the pepper into the pan. Simmer over medium low heat until it reduces to half the original amount. Now add the whiskey, cream, and mustard and continue to reduce until it reaches the consistency you like. Remove from heat and swirl in the butter. Serve the sauce over the steaks with a side of French fries for an outstanding dinner.
This sumptuous feast is best washed down with a Cabernet Sauvignon, bold Syrah, or a Zinfandel. On the beer side try a big Russian Imperial stout to match the bold flavors in this meal.