Monday, January 19, 2009

Buffalo Meat Loaf (Page 449)

RECIPE #917

  • Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B+

This recipe was on the list generated by the random number generator. I initially found it odd that this recipe was in the Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb section of The Book, filed under Beef. But (if Wikipedia is to be trusted anyway) apparently beef is the right term for any meat from bovines, and bison are indeed bovines. (It is my impression that most meat labeled "buffalo" is really bison, even though those aren't really the same thing.) When I was an undergraduate at Stanford the dining halls must have been in bed with the bison industry or something, but they were all about putting bison meat in everything. We had bison burgers instead of hamburgers. Bison lasagna, bison meat loaf. Bison, bison, bison... Maybe it was for health reasons -- bison is indeed much better for you than beef from cows -- much lower in fat and calories. It was all the same to me since I was a vegetarian at the time, but it certainly gave me the impression that bison was becoming a big thing. Then I left college and haven't seen much of it since. So I was happy to see that there was a bison recipe in The Book.

To start I cooked a mirepoix of onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in some oil. Then my special gentleman mixed that together with fresh bread crumbs, parsley, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, then he added the ground bison, mixing gently with his hands. We formed a loaf on a baking sheet, then surrounded it with pieces of tomato and shallot. We then baked it until cooked through, then removed the meatloaf and the vegetables and deglazed the pan to make a sauce. This meatloaf was tasty. It had an excellent flavor to it, and was nice and moist. It was less fatty with the bison than a typical beef meatloaf, but that lack of fat didn't seem to hurt the flavor or texture any. My only complaint about the recipe was that it had extra components that I don't think improved it at all. For instance, I don't find that the tomatoes and shallots contributed anything to the dish. I would have prefered it without them. Also, the sauce wasn't too impressive. The pan was just deglazed with water, so the sauce was essentially bison drippings in water. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't visually appealing, and didn't add any new flavor to the dish. That said, I enjoyed eating this meat loaf quite a lot, and my special gentleman and I both thought that the bison was an excellent alternative to cow beef.

Here is the recipe.

A huge congratulations to Rachel, one of my nearest and dearest, who gave birth to her first child on Friday! Her son Justin weighed in at 9 pounds 11 ounces! Congratulations to Rachel and her husband Eric!!!

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