Are you looking for a new, curious and interesting addition to your weekly meat line up? Then you should consider beefalo, the hybrid combination of bison and domestic cattle that has been gaining in popularity in recent years.
Often referred to as "cattalo" or "catalo", natural beefalo meat is the result of crossbreeding bison with cattle, producing an animal similar to the original American bison that once roamed the Great Plains. This hybrid combination of two different species provides an unfamiliar and unique source of high-quality protein, resulting in a nutrient-dense, flavorful and surprisingly healthy alternative to traditional beef. If you’re looking to switch up your weekly meals, here’s everything you need to know about beefalo.
What is Beefalo?
Beefalo (or "cattalo") is a hybrid combination of bison and domestic cattle, first produced in the late 19th century by Dr. Samuel Walker of Foxburg, Pennsylvania. In trying to increase the population of American bison, Dr. Walker crossbred the two species, producing an animal that resembled what was then called the "true buffalo". This hybrid species was later named "beefalo", an agreeable combination of the two parental species.
Today, breeding for beefalo has dramatically increased, and beefalo meat is sold in many supermarkets and meat markets across America. It is generally classified as a "non-traditional" meat, meaning that it is not directly descended from a traditional market breeder like Angus or Hereford. Non-traditional meat includes ostrich, wild boar, alpaca and quail, and is gaining a foothold in the mainstream.
Unlike traditional beef, beefalo is free of antibiotics and hormones, meaning it is naturally lower in fat and cholesterol while also providing a healthy alternative to traditional beef. Additionally, beefalo is leaner and provides an impressive array of nutrients and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
What Does Beefalo Taste Like?
Beefalo tastes very similar to beef and generally acts like steak in recipes and dishes. However, many people rave about the mild, slightly sweet taste of beefalo, and its significantly lower fat content makes for a leaner and healthier alternative to traditional beef. Additionally, some experts believe that the hybrid combination of bison and cattle makes beefalo much more tender, resulting in a more enjoyable and better-tasting meat.
How To Cook Beefalo
Because beefalo is naturally leaner than traditional beef, it doesn’t hold moisture and can dry out quickly when cooked. To prevent dryness and maximize flavor, use moist heat cooking methods such as braising or stewing. Avoid high-temperature grilling to prevent overcooking or drying, and opt instead for short, low-temperature grilling. Also, think of beefalo as a steak and cook it as you would a steak.
Beefalo is a versatile meat, and you can use it in almost any beef dish including tacos, lasagna, burgers, meatloaf and more. It can also replace beef in more traditional dishes such as Shepherd’s Pie or Salisbury steak. Whether you use beefalo as the centerpiece in a meal or just as a side, it is sure to add a bit of interest and flavor to your dishes.
Beefalo is an exciting, versatile and nutritious alternative to traditional beef. If you’re looking to switch up your weekly mealtime routine and add an interesting new option to your repertoire, then beefalo is an excellent choice. With its flavorful variety, tender texture and healthy nutrients, beefalo is sure to become a family favorite in no time.