I remember the first time I saw a bison up close and personal. It was out on the rolling prairies of South Dakota. No, it wasn’t wild. Reality is, I am not sure there are to many of those left. Maybe in Canada and Yellowstone but beyond that I think most herds are domesticated, sort of.
When you walk up on a buffalo it is like you stepped back in time, especially if they are starring at you head on. They are huge animals yielding in the neighborhood of four hundred pounds of meat. You heard that right four hundred pounds. I can’t imagine killing one of these with a bow and arrow. I have a hard time trying to imagine how the Native Americans did it.
It is interesting to note at one time Indiana had bison that followed the Buffalo Trace on their east/west migration through the southern portion of the state. The trace was one of the first roads used by animals and people alike.
The mushroom ragu is really what this dish is all about. I love buffalo, I can eat it plain without any toppings, but the simple addition of this simple ragu makes the whole dish.
The ragu is an umami bomb. The deep earthiness of the mushrooms, combined with the red wine and soy, and cooked on the stove top until all the flavors are intensified by reduction makes it a great combination. Not only is it good on red meat but it also is delicious on salmon and monk fish.
If you don’t want to mess with buffalo, of course this recipe would be great with beef. I like to pan sear the sirloins but the grill works great too. Use whichever works best for you.
one (1 1/2 to 2 pound) buffalo sirloin
5 cups assorted exotic mushrooms
2 heads garlic, roasted, see step 5
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
parsley for garnish
- Place a 14 inch saute pan over medium high heat. Let it get good and hot. Then add the oil. Add the oil first to keep the butter from burning.
- Now add the mushrooms. Spread them out across the pan and let them sit without shaking or turning them so they get good and brown. Season them with a heavy pinch of salt and some pepper.
- When the mushrooms are good and brown flip them and do the same to the other side. Add the shallots and the butter. Let the shallots soften.
Add the wine, soy sauce and garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the wine is almost all absorbed by the mushrooms.
- Meanwhile heat a cast iron skillet or if you are using a grill you should already have it going, over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and cook the sirloin caramelizing both sides of the steak to the internal temp you want it to be.
- Let the steak rest, slice and serve with mushrooms on top. Garnish with parsley.