Twisted S Bison Ranch near Ferndale produces an extensive line of bison meat products, from ground bison to steaks to roasts to gourmet sausages. Bison is much leaner than beef, and what fat there is can be found mostly on the outside edges of the meat instead of marbled throughout the meat. Consequently, bison cooks more quickly than beef. Experts recommend cooking “low and slow”–lower temperature and slower cooking times–for more control of doneness. Also, aiming for “rare” or “medium” doneness is better than “well” done, which may toughen the bison meat. Bison is easily overcooked.
Bison has a marvelously subtle “wild” flavor without tasting gamy, so season it mildly. The raw meat is darker red than beef due to the lower fat content. Covering the pan as it cooks can help preserve moisture in the meat.
Local bison is available only occasionally. Twisted S raises as much as they can, but bison take a lot of grass acreage and family farms in our area are not large enough to supply all the demand for bison in Whatcom County. Most of the year, Twisted S brings in frozen bison from North Dakota. The quality of everything they sell under their brand is consistently excellent, but if you care about getting locally raised bison (and I hope you do), you’ll need to call ahead and find out when it will be available.
This recipe was my first foray into eating bison and the results were delightful!
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- 1/2 lb ground bison (Twisted S Bison Ranch, Ferndale)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (home garden)
- 1 Tbsp butter (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
Mix thyme into bison meat with hands and shape into two patties. Melt the butter in a skillet at medium-high. Brown the patties about 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 3 more minutes on each side. Meat will be cooked to medium done. Be careful not to overcook.
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