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Monday, November 14, 2016

Bison, Grass-Fed Beef & Elk Meats: A Comparison of 3 Lean Proteins

Lean Meat Options for the Conscientious Consumer.

Through our work with Good Life Premium Meats and NebraskaBison.com, we have established a commitment to making top quality, naturally raised meats more widely available throughout the United States.

Each of the three meats we now offer: Premium Naturally Raised Elk, 100% Grass-Fed Organic Beef and Premium Naturally Raised Bison are held to the highest standards of quality.

To help introduce you to each of these options, we've highlighted some key points for each of the three meats in this post below. 

NUTRITION

Obviously when we're talking about lean and healthy meats and proteins, nutrition is going to be a good place to start. Each of these meats (particularly the Elk and Bison) are of course considered to be among the leanest meats available. However, let's go ahead and take a look at how they compare nutritionally among themselves.

The chart below compares Ground Burger for each of the three meats we carry: Elk, Grass-Fed Organic Beef and Bison. The Elk Burger is 91% lean, Grass-Fed Organic Beef Burger is 85% lean and the Bison Burger is 90% lean.


 


Now, obviously, the Ground Burger is one of the fattier cuts of meat. Let's take a look at how each of these meats stand in leaner cuts of steak. The Grass-Fed Beef and Bison take a look at the Top Sirloin while the Elk is our "Ranch Steak" which is cut from the round (which is near the sirloin)



As you can see from these two charts,  all three meats perform very well on the nutrition scale. Elk and Bison which are two famously lean proteins outshine the Grass-Fed Organic Beef as expected by containing less fat, calories and sodium.

TASTE

Taste, of course, if another important consideration in any food comparison. So let's talk a little about the taste of each of these meats.

Grass-Fed Organic Beef

This is probably the taste you're already most familiar with. However, grass-Fed Beef will have a slightly different taste than conventionally raised beef. You may notice a taste that could be described as "beefier" or perhaps slightly "gamey". Many people love the meatier flavor that this meat produces.

Premium Elk Meat

Elk may be considered close in taste to venison, however, it will not be as gamey as deer meat. Many people mention that they believe Elk is even similar in taste to beef. So, for a good reference, you may want to put Elk on a scale part way between Deer Meat and Beef.

Bison

Bison is similar in taste to beef (some people even insist they cannot tell a difference). However, most people agree that it has a slightly richer or sweeter taste than conventionally raised beef. While you'll notice beef to have more of a grainy texture, bison does not, boasting a cleaner taste and texture.

STANDARDS

Of course the standards to which our animals are raised are of the utmost importance to us. The animals we raise and our partners uphold strong ethical values for these animals and hold practices of the highest standards.

Grass-Fed Organic Beef

Grass-Fed Organic Beef from Good Life Premium Meats is 100% grass-fed. Additionally, it meets all USDA organic certification requirements. These animals are raised without the use of Growth Hormones and Antibiotics.

Premium Elk Meat

Good Life Premium Meats Elk are free range, raised without growth hormones and antibiotics.

Bison

Our Bison Meat is raised naturally, without growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Our bison are free range, pasture grazed with plenty of room to roam the ranch.

COOKING

All three meats, Grass-Fed Organic Beef, Premium Elk Meat and Naturally Raised Bison are all much leaner than conventionally produced meats. This means that extra care needs to be taken during cooking. Generally, low and slow methods will suffice – cooking these meats too long or too fast will result in tough, chewy meats. However, when cooked properly, each of our premium meats should produce juicy, tasty meals!

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Ultimate Bison Christmas Gift Shopping Guide 2016

Bison Meat Christmas Gifts for 2016

Every year in November and December we stock up on our premium bison meat cuts, because every year, we see a rush on our steaks, roasts jerky and other delicious bison cuts as people start thinking about holiday dinners and Christmas gifts.

We always make sure to publish a Gift Guide / Shopping Guide on our website to help Christmas Shoppers with ideas and deadlines for ordering and I've decided to expand on this year's Gift Guide here as well. As always, if you need assistance placing an order or have questions about any of our products, I am always happy to help you with answers!

Most Popular Item for Gift Giving: Bison Filet Mignon

Each year, I find the same item seems to come up as the most popular this time of year – particularly for gift giving – and that is the Bison Filet Mignon. Here's why people love it:
  • each steak comes in a petite 6 oz. size – 4/box.
  • the filet mignon is a trifecta of flavor, tenderness and leanness.
  • a box of bison filet mignon comes to just under $100 including shipping.
https://www.nebraskabison.com Additionally our Ribeyes + Filets Special which features the Bison Filet Mignon as well as Bison Ribeye Steaks, shines as a popular option as well for those who are looking to send a package with more than one cut.

And finally, this year, with the release of our Good Life Premium Meats brand, we are now able to offer an Organic, Grass-Fed Beef Filet Mignon as well. We even offer a Filet Mignon Sampler pack which includes 4 Bison Filet Mignon and 4 Organic Grass-Fed Beef Filet Mignon.

Bison Jerky and Sausages

If you're looking for smaller gift ideas – something to stick in stockings or something to bring along as a host gift – this section may be for you!

https://www.nebraskabison.com/collections/bison-buffalo-jerky
Jerky and Summer Sausage can be ordered by the package, meaning you can add just one to an order if that's all you need, or you can add any number you like. Unlike our steaks, these do not have to be purchased in a specific quantity.

Here's why people love our jerky and summer sausages:
  • No MSG
  • No added nitrates or nitrites
  • Easy snacking -- no cooking required!
  • Great package sizes: 2 oz. Jerky packages & 8 oz. Summer Sausage rolls
  • Delicious bison taste!
Our Bison Jerky comes in two options: Smoked Bison Jerky (chopped & formed style): less tough/chewy, slightly fattier; or Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky (whole muscle strip style): spicier flavor, more traditional jerky style.

Our Bison Summer Sausage comes in two flavors as well: Plain / Original and Jalapeno/Cheddar.

More Bison Steaks

If you like the idea of sending someone you love steaks, but are looking for a lower price point, or perhaps want to add a few steaks along with some other great items, I would like to point you in the direction of our Bison Flat Iron Steak.  It is cut from an area near the tenderloin so it is a wonderfully tender and flavorful steak, but with a significantly lower price point. Here's some bullet points about it:
  • 8 oz. steak size – 4 steaks per box.
  • $59 + shipping
  • 7g fat and 48g protein / steak
We also offer Bison Flank Steaks which come 2/box instead of the usual 4. This can also be a good choice for a steak to send along with other items for more variety. 

Apart from the steaks mentioned above, we have lots of other cuts of steaks and steak packages available as well, including:
  • Bison NY Strips
  • Bison Ribeyes
  • Bison Top Sirloin
  • Bone-In Bison Ribeye
You can view our full selection of bison steaks here.

Prime Bison Roasts

https://www.nebraskabison.com/products/buffalo-bison-prime-rib-roastThe Bison Prime Rib is exceedingly popular this time of year. This 4 lb. boneless Prime Rib Roast makes an excellent gift or a perfect main course for holiday meals.

Here's what previous customers have said about our Bison Prime Rib:
  • "This is by far the best cut of meat I have ever had. Compared to Waygu Beef and other Prime cuts, this is far superior and better for you. I highly recommend following the low and slow cooking method described by Nebraska Bison. It produces the best tasting, juiciest, most tender meat ever. We have it every Christmas and getting nothing but rave reviews from the family. Highly recommend both the Prime Rib and Nebraska Bison. Great meat from a great company!" - Mike C.
  • "We ordered one for our Anniversary this past August, and it was VERY good. My wife and son had never had Bison steak, so this was the perfect introduction. They can't wait until I surprise them again. Oh, and when I called to settle my concerns with shipping such a long way, I talked to the nicest people you could ask for. It was packaged perfectly and arrived in Florida in "Prime" condition. Yes, I will order from them again. This is a 5 Star Product, and a 5 Star Company." - Charles J. 
If the Prime Rib isn't quite your style, we also offer Whole Bison Tenderloins, Bison Briskets and Bison Pot Roasts.  

Don't forget the pups!

We also offer Smoked Bison Femur Bones for Dogs. Be sure to add one into your order for the furry family member!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Hot Stocking Stuffer for 2016: Foodies, Meat Lovers & Health Food Enthusiasts

The Christmas season is a busy time for us here at NebraskaBison.com. Each year we've had our virtual doors open, we've always sent out a large number of orders in the months or November and December. We send out many orders this time of year as gifts on behalf of loved ones who live far away and we send out lots of prime cuts to serve as the main course of Christmas and New Year's dinners across the country – an honor which we do not take lightly.

If you're looking for easy Christmas gift ideas to send, let me quickly point you in the direction of our Gift Guide, which will hopefully help you find what you're looking for within our collection of premium steaks, roasts and oh so much more!


Smoked Bison Jerky – Great for Gifts

If you're looking for some smaller ideas for colleagues, employees, friends, stocking stuffers or the like, I'd like to tell you a little more about our popular bison jerky and why it makes such a great gift for meat lovers, foodies and healthy eaters!

Currently, we have two jerky options available: Our Smoked Bison Jerky (chopped & formed) and our Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky (traditional). 

Bison Jerky Gifts – Why the Meat Lover will Love It

Meat Lovers will love our Smoked Bison Jerky products for the great taste! Bison has a strong, beefy flavor, but slightly sweeter. Our delicious smoked recipes highlight the flavor of bison without over powering it and stays light on added salt and sugar. In fact, there's so little sugar in our recipes that it registers as 0g in the nutrition facts.

Each package of jerky contains 16g of protein (Smoked Bison Jerky) or 26g of protein (Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky).

Bison Jerky Gifts – Why the Foodies will Love It

Foodies will love the great meaty taste, but I expect they'll also appreciate a few of the things that make our jerky unique. Bison has a distinctive (slightly sweet) flavor. While bison is growing wildly in popularity, it can still be difficult to track down on a regular basis and is still considered a novelty item. After all, more beef cattle are processed in a single day, then bison are in the entire year.

https://www.nebraskabison.com/collections/bison-buffalo-jerkyOur bison jerky recipes are carefully crafted to maximize flavor while containing No MSG and no Added Nitrates. Bison Meat itself appeals to those who appreciate naturally raised foods, as it is illegal to use growth hormones and steroids in bison. Bison are raised free-roaming/grazing on ranches for the majority of their lives.


Plus -- it's low in fat! Just 12g of fat per package in the Smoked Bison Jerky and only 2g of fat in the Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky!

Bison Jerky Gifts – Why Healthy Eaters will Love It

Bison is one of the healthiest red meats available. It is incredibly lean – low in fat, calories and cholesterol. Part of this is due to the way they are raised, part of it is due to the physical make-up of bison. (They are incredibly muscular, not fatty, animals!)

As mentioned earlier, our Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky has only 2g of fat in the entire package! Additionally, in this 2 oz. package, there are only 140 calories.

Smoked Bison Jerky vs. Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky: Which should I choose? 

Each of our jerky products are popular and delicious, but they do have a few main differences.

  • Texture: The Smoked Bison Jerky (chopped & formed style) is going to be slightly less tough then the traditional Smoked Bison Cowboy Jerky, which is a whole muscle strip jerky.  
  • Flavor: Our Cowboy Style Jerky has a spicier taste and flavor. If you're looking for an extra kick, this is the way to go!
  • Fat Content: The Chopped & Formed Style jerky is made using a fattier part of the meat. Although still quite lean, it will have a little extra fat content than the Cowboy Style Jerky. 

Or... you don't have to choose! With our Bison Jerky Gift Pack, you get 3 packages of both types!


Choosing the Main Course for your Holiday Meals

The Big Three: Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Dinners

Whatever your traditions are throughout the final months of each year, I think one thing that we all share is that sometime over the months of November and December, we all gather with family or friends for a special meal -- or in some cases, perhaps, many.

In my family, deciding what is on the menu for Christmas dinner is a democratic process. My mom shoots us all an email (usually before any of the rest of us are even thinking Christmas yet) asking what we want for Christmas dinner. It's usually something non-traditional, usually an enormous feast, and always delicious.

Ranch owners, Randy and Jane, have a more solid tradition and each Christmas, they enjoy a Bison Prime Rib among their family.

Whatever your traditions are, if you find yourself in a spot wondering what you'll be serving for a family dinner this holiday season, I've put together a little guide to give you some information and ideas. We have some lovely cuts available that are perfect for special occasion dinners and I've outlined a few of them below.

Order Early for Less Stress!

Keep in mind we're recommending placing your order by the following dates for on-time delivery. However, we always recommend ordering early to make sure you get the cuts you want. November and December are busy months for us and we do sometimes run out of some of our most popular items!

Thanksgiving Delivery: Order by Nov. 14, 2016
Christmas Delivery: Order by Dec. 19, 2016
New Years Delivery: Order by Dec. 26, 2016

Bison Tenderloin

This year we've brought a new item on-board to our menu, just in time for the holidays! A Whole Bison Tenderloin is the epitome of top quality. This 3.5 lb. tenderloin, can be roasted whole and served as a roast or it can be sliced into tenderloin steaks of your desired thickness.

The tenderloin is incredibly lean with awesome flavor and, of course, amazing tenderness. It will truly be the hit of the meal. However, this item is extremely limited in availability this season and will go fast. If you're hoping to serve your family our Bison Tenderloin anytime this holiday season, we recommend getting your order in sooner than later!
  • 3.5 lb. roast
  • serve as roast or cut into steaks
  • $185 + shipping
  • View Here.

Bison Prime Rib Roast

The Bison Prime Rib Roast has been an incredibly popular choice among our customers each year we've had it available – and for good reason!

https://www.nebraskabison.com/products/buffalo-bison-prime-rib-roast
This perfectly tender 4 lb. roast is incredibly easy to cook (we even offer an easy video tutorial) and gives you a slice of bison meat with wonderfully delicious flavor. Just check out the reviews on this product page to see how much previous customers have enjoyed it!
  • 4 lb. roast
  • boneless
  • easy to prepare/cook
  • $149 + shipping
  • View Here.

Bison Brisket

If you're a little put off by the price tags of the Prime Rib and the Whole Tenderloin, (or if you have a bit of a larger party) but are still looking for a lean and tasty roast to serve this winter, the Brisket may just be what you want!

This 5 lb. Brisket should be slow cooked (or smoked) and will give you quite a treat in taste and tenderness. We have a couple of recommendations on cooking the brisket, which you can see here and here.

Other Ideas

Those are the top three most popular "special meal" items we have available. However, if those don't quite fit the bill for what your family is looking for, we've got tons of other options as well (including some options in Elk Meat and Organic, Grass-Fed Beef. Visit our website to shop our full catalog of steaks, roasts, ribs and more to find the perfect meat to headline your holiday dinners!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Holiday Parties & Host Gifts - Easy and Unique: Bison Summer Sausage

Summer Sausage is synonymous with holiday get-togethers and parties. It's easy to prepare and it makes great, easy gifts. But did you know that you can up your game with a delicious, all natural and unique kind of summer sausage? That's right! Here at NebraskaBison.com, we've got two tasty flavors of BISON Summer Sausage - and it's now available individually by the 8 oz. roll!

NebraskaBison.com Summer Sausages: Jalapeno Cheddar & Plain.

Jalapeno Cheddar Bison Summer Sausage

Our Jalapeno Cheddar Bison Summer Sausage adds a little extra flavor and kick to the taste of bison in this sausage. Made up in an 8 oz roll, this sausage has quickly become quite popular among our farmers market following.

Jalapeno / Cheddar Summer Sausage Ingredients: Bison, Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Proccessed Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes) Water, Cream, Sodium Phosphates, Salt, Vegetable Color, Enzymes, Powdered Cellulose Potassium Sorbate, Natamycin), Water, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, Jalapeno Flakes, Celery Juice Powder, Lactic Acid Starter Culture

Plain Bison Summer Sausage

The plain version of our bison summer sausage is equally (if not more so) popular as the jalapeno cheddar, providing a milder version which truly allows the bison flavor to shine.

Plain Summer Sausage Ingredients: Bison, Water, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, Mustard Seed, Celery Juice Powder, Lactic Acid Starter Culture

Highlights of the Bison Summer Sausages:

  • Like all of our other bison products, our summer sausage contains ONLY bison meat. No other meats or fats are added. The only ingredients we use are bison and seasonings (plus cheese in the Jalapeno Cheddar version, of course.)
  • We don't use nitrates.
  • We don't use MSG.

Because of the lack of preservatives, the summer sausage must be frozen or refrigerated until you serve it. It is however fully cooked, so all that you need to do is remove the casing and slice.

Shop Bison Summer Sausage here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Getting more out of Bison: Spinning Hair into Yarn

Bison Hair: Discovering another way to make the most out of bison ranching.

If you've ever been around bison in the spring our summer. You may have noticed something that seemed a little odd: the bison seemingly losing their hair. Although it looks a little bizarre, it is actually quite normal for the American Bison to be shedding hair in the spring and summer months, and here's why:

Each year, bison grow thick, warm winter coats. Living in the harsh climates of the great plains, bison grow these coats to keep them warm throughout the winter snow and winds. In fact, these coats are so thick, that it has been observed that snow can fall onto the bison without even melting from body heat.
This image shows a bison losing it's winter coat.

However, in the summer months, these coats are no longer needed and so in the spring and summer, you'll find bison shedding these coats. Hair will be attached to fence lines and throughout the fields.

The cool thing is, if you have the time and desire to put in the work, great things can come of the annual hair shedding.

The picture to the right shows a young bison heifer in the process of shedding her coat.

Bison hair is surprisingly soft, and of course, durable and warm. The process for taking the hair from field to finished product is quite time-consuming, but can also be fulfilling and enjoyable.

This is bison hair after it has been washed.
Washing the hair is the first, and probably most important step. When picked up from the field, bison hair is full of pieces of grass, dirt, mud and other "vegetable matter" from the bison living its day-to-day life. Washing the hair will get most of this out – and the rest will come out in the brushing and spinning process.

All it takes to wash the hair, is hot water, Dawn Dish Soap and a basin.

Once the hair is washed, rinsed and dried (which takes longer with bison hair, since it is grown to be water resistant), the most time consuming step of brushing and/or combing the hair into useable roving is next.

Bison hair being spun using a drop spindle.
Although bison hair is soft, the brushing / combing process really brings out the full potential of this fiber, allowing the remaining vegetable matter to fall out and making it into workable material.

Spinning the bison hair is the step where you take the bison fiber and spin it into yarn. This can be done with a spinning wheel or a drop spindle as shown in the image on the right. This process simply takes the hair, and twists it into yarn.

The yarn can then be plied after spinning to make the yarn thicker or more durable. And after that step, all that's really left is another washing / rinsing step to allow the yarn to set and ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned.

Once the yarn is completed, it can then be used in any project you desire. Bison yarn can work great in crochet or knit projects such as scarves, mittens, hats and socks.

See below for finished images of the yarn!

This is a process which I am still learning and practicing, but the first effort was quite fulfilling and satisfying. I am looking forward to continue growing in this process to make some truly beautiful bison hair pieces.

Here is an image of the yarn after it has been spun and plied. 

And here is a final image of the yarn after it has been completed. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

36 things you can do with ground bison meat: recipes, pictures & videos

Whether you have a freezer full of ground bison meat that you're looking for new ideas to use with it, or whether you're new to bison meat, I've got tons of ideas and inspiration for you to get started: 36 ideas to be exact.

Ground Bison Burger is a great substitution in any recipe calling for ground meat. Bison is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than most other meats, while remaining high in protein, iron and other nutrients. In fact, a 4 oz. serving of our 90% lean ground bison has 11g of fat and 200 calories.

If you're finding yourself low on my favorite cooking ingredient, not to worry... it's always available on our site and you can shop for bison meat online 24/7.

 

Let's start with some Instagram Inspiration: Ground Bison Ideas #1-10


All of the images below come from the NebraskaBison.com Instagram feed where I post actual pictures of my bison meals. A few are re-posts from happy NebraskaBison.com customers and their awesome creations. The bottom line is - these are ALL real world examples of awesome ground bison uses!





A photo posted by NebraskaBison.com (@nebraskabison) on


A photo posted by NebraskaBison.com (@nebraskabison) on

A photo posted by NebraskaBison.com (@nebraskabison) on



A photo posted by NebraskaBison.com (@nebraskabison) on


 

6 Video Walkthroughs: Ground Bison Ideas #11-16

Sometimes it's better to show a recipe off through video - and that's what we've got for the next 5 inspirations. The first two videos come from our friend at Smokey Goodness while the next three are NebraskaBison.com exclusive videos. Enjoy!






 

And as promised... here's some links to great ground bison recipes. Ground Bison Ideas #17-33

 

Savory Oven Roasted Bison Meatballs

 

Bison & Broccoli Won Tons

 

Bison Won Ton Tacos

 

Bison Enchiladas

 

Avocado Bison Burger

View Recipe

BBQ Cocktail Bison Meatballs

View Recipe

Bison Meatloaf

View Recipe

Grilled Bison Skewers

View Recipe

Bison Stuffed Peppers

View Recipe

Nebraska Bison Stuffers

View Recipe

Spicy Bison Burger

View Recipe

Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Bison Burger

View Recipe

Bison Potato Boats

View Recipe

Cheesy Firecracker Bison Meatballs

View Recipe

Spicy Island Bison Burgers

View Recipe

Bison Sloppy Joes

View Recipe

Bison Meatball Sub

View Recipe

 

And to top it off, here are two final infographics for Ground Bison Ideas #35 & #36 to help you make awesome bison burgers!

 

 



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