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Steer + Buffalo=Beefalo

Steer + Buffalo=Beefalo

American Bison also known as Buffalo.

Chef Clyde Serda | Chef's Blade

Bison naturally graze on wild grasses that cattle will not feed on and don’t require the high cost of grain feeding, hormones, and farm grown grasses that cattle do. Bison are also much more resistant to pests and disease. The American Bison has started its comeback, not as the roaming herds that freely crossed our plains, but as a farm-raised animal for market. But, the ranchers still had somewhat of a problem, Bison don’t always do what you want them to. And believe me," they can have an attitude".

So, they began cross‑breeding them with cattle in the 1960’s since they are both from the Bovine Family, in search of the best from both breeds. From the Bison, they got superior hardiness, natural foraging ability, faster growth, longer years of reproduction, calving ease and a leaner meat with a higher protein content. From the Bovine (steer), they got fertility, milking ability, marbling, a milder flavor than Buffalo, but a richer flavor than Beef, and most important the ease of handling. What they got was a Beefalo which is 3/8 Bison (Buffalo) and 5/8 Bovine (steer). There is no stipulation on the type of Bovine used in the breeding, but it is usually a superior type of Beef Cattle. In 1985, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved a special meat label “Beefalo Beef or Beef from Beefalo”. To receive such a marking, it must come from a certified ranch and it must be at least 1/2 Beefalo and not more than full blood Beefalo.

Like most lean game, Buffalo and the Beefalo takes 1/2 to 1/3 less heat than beef to cook, which saves on both time and energy. There is less fat in both Buffalo and Beefalo, which means less trim. The Beefalo has only 12 percent saturated fat, with a calorie rating of 188 grams, 58mg cholesterol and 18 percent protein. Both Beefalo and Buffalo should be cooked to a rare or medium rare like a fine cut of Beef, and can be served with the same sauces as Beef or slow cooked as you would roasts or stews.

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