I like to think of myself as a fairly adventurous cook. However, I have a frugal streak about a mile wide, and am somewhat hesitant to fork out my grocery money on ingredients that I'm not sure will fly with the family. So I was actually feeling rather bold when I purchased a pound of ground buffalo from Stewart's last week.
This venture was doubly bold, because besides being thrifty and proud of it, I have a dubious history with game meats. My Grandpa Hank was a very avid hunter and fisherman, and therefore my sister and I grew up eating tons of salmon, trout, catfish and venison, as prepared by my Grandma - broiled/fried to death and covered in salt and pepper. So all of these years, I'd thought that I didn't like venison or any game meats, when in truth, I just didn't like the way that Grandma had "fixed them".
Anyway, back to my point here - I went out of my food comfort zone and bought some buffalo, and made up a batch of my famous-ish spaghetti.
Chelle's Pasketti Sauce
1/2 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 lb ground buffalo
1 jar pasta sauce (I use homemade when I have it)
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp Worstershire sauce
Salt, pepper, marjoram & oregano to taste
Sweat your diced veggies and spices in olive oil over medium low heat until softened and translucent. Add buffalo and cook until well browned. Drain fat, if necessary (it probably won't be). Add pasta sauce, red wine and worstershire and simmer at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust spices to your liking.
I usually cook my pasta as the sauce is finishing and add the al dente pasta directly to the simmering sauce to give the noodles a chance to absorb some of the sauce itself. If you find that your sauce is a touch too thick, adding a bit of the starchy pasta water will help loosen the sauce.
Neither my husband or daughters were any the wiser for the buffalo switch-out. Even better, when I told them that they were actually eating bison they weren't freaked out by it like I had worried that they might be. I think that we are officially buffalo converts!
Besides that fact that it tastes exactly the same (at least the ground buffalo does) as ground beef, bison has a ton of health benefits over beef, or even chicken, for that matter. According to an article in my Hobby Farm Home magazine, bison meat-
*is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork, chicken or fish!
*is lower in fat than other meats. It contains 1/4 of the fat of beef, 1/3 of the fat of chicken and 1/2 the fat of turkey.
*is higher in protein than salmon, trout, halibut & swordfish
*contains 7 times more iron than salmon.
Seriously, eating red meat without making your arteries cry = awesome.