Bison Hanger Steaks
6 hanger steaks (approximately 10 lbs.)
Hanger steaks are thick cuts of meat cut from the Plate, between the brisket & the flank. Until relatively recently the hanger steak was a cut most often found for sale in Europe, while most American butchers kept it for themselves. With a slightly chewy, stringy texture similar to bison skirt steaks, bison hanger steaks offer particularly bold flavor and are a great choice for marinating.
Bison's flavor is often described as a richer version of beef with just a hint of sweetness. It has a deeper red color and coarser grain than beef.
Like many game meats, bison meat is much healthier than conventional grain-fed beef. It’s primary health benefits are its low fat content (less than a third as much fat as similar cuts of beef), lower cholesterol (less than skinless chicken) and high amount of iron. This makes it an ideal red meat choice for those concerned about eating heart healthy food.
RECIPES & TIPS
The hanger steak has a more fiberous texture which is tender when sliced after cooking for dishes like fajitas, but can toughen if cooked beyond Medium Rare. A marinade can impart flavor and help keep it from drying out.
Hanger steak has a prominent muscle grain so it should always be thinly sliced against the grain before serving for optimum tenderness.
In general, bison meat can be cooked as you would similar cuts of beef and substituted in beef recipes. Because it's so lean, it will cook more quickly than beef and is more likely to dry out if cooked further than Medium Rare. Because bison is much higher in protein and also a little denser in texture, diners' hunger may be satisfied with smaller portions.
Bison pairs well with rich, rustic flavors like chile peppers, beer, cumin, red wine, rosemary, and sage.
Like all meats, it is important to rest bison (covered) after cooking but before slicing in order to allow the meat’s juices to thicken & not run out onto the cutting board. The larger the cut, the longer it needs to rest, with small cuts resting for 5-10 minutes and larger cuts resting 15 minutes or longer. While resting, the meat will continue to cook slightly, so for best results remove it from the heat while it’s still a little below your preferred doneness.
The USDA recommends all bison steaks should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F (medium rare). We do not recommend cooking bison past 160°F (medium). Because bison is a lean meat, it will cook more quickly than beef. Cooking beyond medium will make bison tough and dry.