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 We’ve all heard about the other white meat, but what about the other red meat? Starting to pop up in neighborhood supermarkets across the country, bison is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the ever-familiar beef. In fact while the popularity of beef has actually been declining, bison consumption has registered six straight years of double-digit growth. So what’s the deal with what, at first glance, just looks like a more expensive package of ground beef?

Well first off, bison is leaner than beef. While a 3.5 ounce serving of beef packs around 8 grams of fat a similar cut of bison has just 2.42 grams, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This lower fat content means that bison contains less calories per ounce. In fact, nutritionally bison is actually more comparable to ground turkey while maintaining a higher protein content. And who doesn’t like more protein?!

Beyond nutritional considerations, the way bison are handled is different as well. Unlike conventional cattle, it is illegal to give growth hormone to bison and they are very rarely treated with antibiotics. So, in reality, that expensive seeming bison is actually pretty similar in price to all grass-fed beef while being better for you. So if you care about where you meat comes from and how it treats your body then bison is definitely for you.

While there are lots of cuts of bison the most readily available and perhaps versatile is ground. If a recipe works with ground beef, you can bet it works with ground bison just as well. Just be mindful that because it is a bit leaner you might want to add a bit more liquid to whatever you’re making. If you’re one of those people who think bison is tough it’s probably because whatever you had was overcooked. It’s time to give it a second chance and reap the benefits.

But what about the taste? As a woman who enjoys her read meat I totally understand this consideration. The good news is that most people probably won’t be able to tell much of a difference between the two meats in their ground states; to me they pretty much taste the same. Whether I’m making a burger or chili it ends up just as scrumptious regardless of which meat I use.

Want to try adding some bison to your diet? Try the following meatloaf recipe for a healthier take on a weeknight dinner classic!

Bison Meatloaf
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 Tbsp ketchup, divided
  • 2 tsps mustard
  • 2 tsps dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsps black pepper
  • ½ cup rolled oats, ground (or substitute store bought oat flour)
  • 2 pounds ground bison
Directions:

1. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions to pan and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Remove pan from heat, add garlic and stir to incorporate - set aside.

3. In a bowl, combine egg, Worcestershire sauce, half (2 tablespoons) of the ketchup, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper.

4. Add ground rolled oats and onion mixture to the bowl and incorporate well.

5. Add ground bison to the bowl, mix and transfer bison mixture to an oiled loaf pan.

6. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

7. Turn oven to broil, top meat loaf with remaining ketchup and broil for an additional 10 minutes.

8. Let meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Article by Saskia Boogman 
Facebook: Saskia Boogman
Twitter: @MTSaskia
Instagram: @SauceSoFit 

References:
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130724/PC1206/130729766/buffalo-gaining-ground-as-leaner-healthier-red-meat
http://www.livestrong.com/article/372112-buffalo-meat-versus-beef-nutrition/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/412575-how-healthy-is-bison-meat/