On the Menu: Bison

Photo by Todd Buchanan

Carnivores have been soul-searching lately: Must a hunger for meat destroy the planet? Not if you eat bison. Not only does this giant native herbivore require no petrochemical-fueled corn for food, no electricity for warmth, and no lagoons for waste, bison are actually a critical part of the Great Plains’ environment; they distribute native plants’ seeds by burr, by manure, and by planting seeds as they break the prairie’s top crust with their hooves. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that the most environmentally helpful thing a carnivore can do would be to eat bison. But is it delicious? Absolutely. Especially at Eichten’s Bistro, where they raise around 300 bison and have been cooking and serving bison for 23 years. So they know how to coax the most flavor and tenderness from the iron-rich meat. This tenderloin, for instance, is deep and winey, and given a complementary nice richness and spice by its sauce of peppercorns, mushrooms, and Belgian ale.

Eichten’s Bistro: 16440 Lake Blvd., Center City, 651-257-1566, theeichtensbistro.com

Featured in Minnesota Monthly’s January 2010 Issue