Monday, October 10, 2011

Green Hatch Chile Rubbed Bison Cowboy Steak

Recently, while I was on vacation, I decided to visit the bison ranch at Gunpowder Bison and Trading.  I wanted to see bison and, while I was there, buy a cut of bison meat that I usually do not have access to at my local grocery stores. I have previously posted about watching the bison, so now it is time to blog about the cut of meat I decided to buy.

Bison meat stands apart from cattle or beef.  Unlike most cattle, who may be penned for much of their lives, bison are allowed to roam fields.  The bison graze on grasses and hay for most of their lives, only feeding on grains for a brief period before they are slaughtered.  The fact that bison eat grass is often reflected in their fat, which has a more yellowish color than the white beef fat.  This yellow color is due to the beta-carotene found in the fat.  

The presence of beta-carotene is not the only thing that sets apart bison meat from regular beef.  Bison meat has two times as much protein as regular beef, primarily due to the lower fat content of the meat.  In addition, bison meat has less calories, fat and cholesterol than, not just beef, but also pork and chicken.  The lower amounts of fat in bison meat does present a drawback ... namely, there is a greater chance of overcooking the meat.  Therefore, whenever one is cooking bison, it is important to keep an eye on the meat to ensure that it does not overcook and dry out.  

As I stood before a wall of freezers containing over a dozen types of cuts, I wanted to buy a cut that I had never cooked with before and that would be good for grilling.  I ultimately decided on the "cowboy steak."  This cut of beef arose in the 1960s or 1970s, and, it is nothing more than a ribeye still attached to the rib.  Unlike a bone-in ribeye, where the bone is cut just below the ribeye, a cowboy steak retains much more of the bone, which is frenched to leave the bone exposed.  This cowboy steak is probably the most expensive piece of meat that I have ever bought, but it cooked very well and, with this simple Green Hatch Chile rub, it was very delicious. 

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2-4

1 bison cowboy steak (about two pounds)
1 teaspoon of ground green hatch chile
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1.  Prepare the rub and marinate the steak.  Mix all of the ingredients for the rub together, with the exception of the olive oil.  Add the olive oil and stir until it becomes a loose paste.  Drizzle the rub over each side of the cowboy steak and rub the paste into the meat.  Let the steak marinate at room temperature while the grill heats up to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grill the steak.  Cook the steak for about five minutes, turn it ninety degrees and cook for five minutes more. Flip the steak and cook for five minutes.  Rotate the steak and cook for five minutes more.  At this point, check the steak for doneness by pressing with your finger in the center of the steak.  If the steak gives a lot, let it cook for a few more minutes.  If the steak seems to give a little, remove it and wrap it in foil for five minutes.  Slice the steak and serve immediately.


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