Here is an interesting fact – bison and buffalo are not the same, even though the words are often used interchangeably. Real buffalo come from Asia and Africa. The bison of North America (and Europe) is a distant cousin to the buffalo. In the United States, bison were a staple of life for the Midwest Native American tribes. Overhunting caused the bison to become nearly extinct by the early 1900s.
Today, thanks to the many local bison farmers across the nation, bison have made a dramatic comeback and have become a welcomed menu item as a beef substitute. Yes, consumption of bison, believe it or not, is a way to keep this species from becoming extinct. By eating bison, you help the bison farmers stay in business, and they, in turn, will continue to breed more bison, therefore keeping this majestic breed from true extinction.
When I cook bison, I always try to make something memorable with it. I want people to be tempted to try it in hopes that they, too, will become fans of bison as America’s delicious beef alternative! I hope this twist on a French classic will become your new classic too.
Tip: The bison recipe below also contains recipes for Portobello Frites, Potato Bread, and an Autumn Pear Salad.
Bison with Portabello Frites | Saint-André and Jack Daniels Sauce
• 4 Bison Filet Mignon
• 4 thick slices of Saint-André cheese
• 1 teaspoon butter
• 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
• Turn your broiler on high.
• Heat a cast-iron skillet with olive oil.
• Add the butter and swirl through. Sear the bison on one side for 3 minutes and then on the other side for an additional 3 minutes to obtain a medium-rare.
• Slightly undercook the filet mignon to the temperature of your liking. It will cook further as it broils.
• Place the cheese on top of the meat and broil just until the cheese begins to melt but still holds its shape.
• Remove and create your plate immediately!
Jack Daniels Sauce
• 1 cup Jack Daniels
• 1 shallot, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 sprig of thyme, 1 sprig of sage, and 1 bay leaf
• 2 cups of red wine
• 2 tablespoons green peppercorns
• 4 cups beef stock
• 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
• 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• In a sauce pot reduce the Jack Daniels to a glaze with the chopped shallot and sugar.
• Add the red wine and add the herbs. Reduce to a thin syrup.
• Pour in the stock and reduce by half.
• Make a quick beurre manié (raw roux) with butter and flour.
• Whisk this into the sauce a little at a time to thicken.
• Once all roux is incorporated bring the pot to a strong simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk often to prevent the roux from scorching.
• Pass all through a fine-mesh strainer and adjust the seasoning and add the peppercorns.
Portobello Mushroom Fries
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups flour
• 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
• 4 – 5 cups canola oil for frying
• Heat oil to 350°F
• Slice long strips of the mushrooms about ½ inch thick
• Coat in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Make sure to cover the entire mushroom.
• Fry the mushrooms gently browning them on all sides.
• Remove them to a dish lined with absorbent paper and season lightly with salt.
Franco’s Potato Flat Bread
This potato bread works amazingly well with this dish. Making it is easy and any leftover bread will store well in your refrigerator for 3-5 days. Simply heat them up again when ready to use and your good to go!
Autumn Pear Salad
• ¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped ( optional)
• ½ cup mustard vinaigrette ( use your personal favorite)
• Fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste
• 4 Potato Bread
• Wash the pears. Slice them in a decorative way, leaving the skin on.
• Place the mixed greens in a bowl with the pears, walnuts, and some of the vinaigrette. Toss well and taste for seasoning.
• Adjust the seasoning and add more vinaigrette if necessary.