The original American red meat, bison (American buffalo) is not truly a game meat, but more of an exotic meat. The flavor is rich, but sweeter than beef and mellow as opposed to having a gamey taste more associated with venison, elk, bear, etc. Bison is leaner and lower in saturated fat than beef which explains its growing popularity in the last decade, especially among the Paleo diet crowd.
As I mentioned, bison is a very lean meat and that means two things when it comes to preparing it – hot and fast or low and slow. Similar to other lean meats, bison steaks and burgers really shouldn’t be cooked beyond medium (preferably mid-rare) or they will dry out and become chewy. Definitely rely on a good instant read digital thermometer your first time out.
Due to the dense musculature, bison steaks do not take well to a marinade. Simply seasoned or rubbed with spices that enhance and compliment the rich flavor of the bison is the way to go. For a deeply seasoned steak, I would suggest salting or sprinkling with a rub, like the one in the recipe, early and let sit loosely covered in the fridge for 1 to 3 days.
- 4 bison steaks, at least 1-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed dry thyme leaves
- Olive oil, for grilling
- If necessary, remove steaks from packaging and pat dry with paper towels; set aside. Use a mortar and pestle (or the bottom of a heavy pot) to finely crush the coriander seed. Mix in the salt, paprika, pepper, garlic, and thyme then sprinkle over both sides of the steaks; use all of the spice rub. Let set at room temperature for an hour before grilling. For a deeper seasoned steak, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or as long as 3 days.
- Set up grill for direct high heat. Brush and oil grates before grilling. Allow grill to heat up for at least 15 minutes to be sure it is hot.
- Drizzle steaks with olive oil and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side for mid-rare. Remove steaks from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.