Grilled bison steaks with pesto goat cheese gnocchi

Some bison advice: get to know buffalo

Originally appeared in the December 6, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

Grilled bison steaks with pesto goat cheese gnocchi (5)

You may have noticed those bison steaks chilling in a slim row next to the organic chicken and lamb shanks at your local grocery.  And for whatever reason you’ve passed them over for the same old steaks—whether due to cost or culinary uncertainty—take it from me: you’re missing out.

As shared in the third edition of Labensky and Hause’s insightful tome On Cooking, bison (also known as American buffalo) were once found in huge herds in the plains states, but were hunted into near-extinction during the nineteenth century.

Cooking bison is a quiet affair—what I mean is that while the meat is tender and flavorfully distinct, it lacks the marbling of beef; and having said that, the lean profile of bison requires you to make a few adjustments to the cooking time.  Like other coveted cuts of red meat, I urge you: don’t…overdo…it.

The subtle aroma and flavor of bison is ungamey, and retains a texture akin to filet mignon.  My last three pieces of bison advice: season wisely, uncork a bottle of red, and serve with hearty starch that will do the noble buffalo justice.  See you next week, dear reader.

Grilled bison steaks with pesto goat cheese gnocchi

Serves 2

  • 2, 6- to 8-ounce bison sirloin steaks
  • 16 ounces prepared potato gnocchi (Delallo makes a very decent boxed variety)
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • As needed, ½ cup (or more) whole milk
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • As needed, fresh Italian parsley for garnish

1.  Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, place a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Liberally season bison steaks with kosher salt and cracked black pepper; and once grill is hot, place steaks on heat.  When water comes to a boil, pour in prepared gnocchi and cook for 3- 5 minutes.

2.  Prepare sauce for gnocchi: in a sauté pan over low heat, add goat cheese along with a small amount of milk; allow cheese to melt down.  When goat cheese has thinned out, whisk in prepared pesto; season to taste and keep warm.

3.  When bison has been grill-seared on both sides, place on an oven-safe dish, cover with aluminum foil, and continue cooking in oven at 375°F for 5-7 minutes or until desired doneness is achieved.  Drain gnocchi thoroughly and toss in goat cheese sauce.  Serve bison atop gnocchi and garnish with Italian parsley.

Published in: on December 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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