Have you ever tried bison?
You may have seen it labeled “buffalo,” but that’s actually a misnomer. The buffalos that inhabit North America aren’t buffalo at all; they’re bison. Boom! Hitting you with cool nature facts on a food blog. That’s just how I roll.
But anyway, bison tastes a lot like beef, except it’s much leaner. You get all the beefy taste, with less fat! If you have had bison, chances are you’ve had ground bison which is totally delicious, but I urge you to try a nice bison steak. For this recipe, I used inner top round steaks.
You want to cook a bison steak exactly like a beef steak—sear both sides and let it rest. They key to tenderness is to cut your bites against the grain. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
Let’s talk about the sauce. It’s freakin’ amazing (and simple to make). It’s slightly sweet, rich, and herby, and I want to put it on everything—beef, chicken, a shoe? All of the above. If you wanted to change it up a bit, maybe try swapping the thyme for rosemary. Mushrooms would be an excellent addition. The key to why this sauce is so good is all of the browed bits stuck on the pan after the meat is cooked. It is what adds the depth and body, and what makes it so darn addictive.
Bison Steaks with Thyme-Marsala Sauce
- 2 bison steak (inner top round), whatever size you desire
- kosher salt & freshly-cracked pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
for the pan sauce:
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup marsala wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- drippings from the meat
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- Take the steaks out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to prepare them. Pat dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- When ready to cook, heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add in the olive oil and heat for about 20 seconds. Lay the steaks in the pan and sear on the first side for 3-4 minutes, before flipping and doing the same thing on the other side.
- Remove the steaks and place on a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, reheat the pan that the steaks were cooked in over medium-high heat. Add in the red onion and garlic and sauté for a couple minutes until browned.
- Add in the wine and chicken stock and scrape up all of the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Cook until reduced to a glaze. Add in the butter and stir.
- See all of this juice that has accumulated since the steaks have been resting? Add that in, too, along with the thyme.
- To serve, spoon the sauce over the top of the steaks.
Have you ever tried bison? What’s your favorite recipe for it?