Monday, September 9, 2013

Not Just Bacon . . . BISON Bacon!

Risotto with Asparagus and Bison Bacon
Have you ever eaten bison?

I've only eaten bison once before in my life. There was a group of ladies that lived on my street, and once a month we used to have a "ladies night out".  We would all put our restaurant suggestions on a piece of paper and then pick one to see where we were going that night. On one of those adventures, we ended up at a Ted's Montana Grill, where I had my first taste of bison. I remember it as one of the best burgers I have ever had.

This month, Allrecipes teamed up with The Bison Council.

I had a few questions, so I got busy checking out their website so that I could educate myself on this meat that I knew very little about. Here are a few things that I found interesting:
  1. A bison is a buffalo. (Ok - whew . . . that's what I thought, but I wasn't exactly sure!)
  2. Bison is a very lean meat, and contains less cholesterol than chicken!
  3. Bison should be cooked at lower temperatures than beef, and will cook in about 1/3 of the time of beef.
  4. Lean bison cuts (except ground) are considered a Weight Watcher's power food.
 Now onto the recipe . . .

 Here's everything that you'll need.

Roast asparagus at 400 degrees until crisp/tender. Cool and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, and set aside. I cooked up the entire pound, as long as I had the oven on.

Cook the bison bacon until it starts to carmelize, then set aside. Again, I cooked up the entire 10oz. package - even though I only used 1/4 of it in my risotto.

Get your chicken broth nice and hot, and keep it over a low flame.

Cook your onions in the butter until translucent.

Add the Arborio rice and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 ladle of broth and cook, stirring, until broth has been absorbed.

This is how it will look when the broth is absorbed. Time to add another ladle of broth!

Continue cooking, stirring, adding 1 ladle of broth at a time, letting the rice absorb all of the broth before adding another ladle.

Making risotto is a labor of love. It takes time, and patience. But it is so worth it! Just look at how creamy it is.

The only way to tell if it is done, is by TASTING IT!

When your risotto is done, add the grated cheese (I used Grana Padano®).

Stir in the pepper, asparagus and bison bacon and serve immediately.

Risotto with Asparagus and Bison Bacon
adapted from HERE

1/2 pound asparagus (trimmed)
1 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tblsp Butter
1 medium onion (diced)
1-1/3 cups Arborio rice
6-1/2 cups chicken broth (or more as needed)
2.5 ounces bison bacon
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup Grana Padano® or Parmigiano Reggiano® (grated)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus out in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast asparagus for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp/tender (depending on the thickness of your asparagus spears. Let cool and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Cut bison bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in large pan and cook over medium heat until it starts to carmelize (because it is very lean, it will not crisp up like regular bacon). Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Place the chicken broth in a pot on the stove and heat until hot. Reduce heat to low and keep hot.
  4. Melt butter in a large pan over medium to medium-high heat (I use the same pan that I cooked the bacon in), add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add rice and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 ladle of chicken broth to the the rice mixture. Stir constantly until all of the broth is absorbed. Continue adding 1 ladle of broth at a time, stirring constantly, letting the rice absorb the broth before adding the next ladle. This will take about 40 - 45 minutes, and the only way to tell if it is done is by tasting it. It should still have some "bite" to it, but not stick in your teeth. You may need to add more broth until your risotto achieves the desired "bite".
  6. When the risotto is done, stir in pepper, asparagus, bison bacon and grated cheese. Serve immediately.
Buon Appetito!


  1. did not know bison cuts were a power food! Yowsa! It looks delicious! I buy that cheese too..from a big container. I think I like it as much as Parm!

    1. I was happily surprised by that too Renee! If I ever switch to simply filling, I'm going to have to place an order! We love the Grana . . . and it's a little easier on the pocket book than Parm, ,and as you can see by the chunk, we go through quite a bit!

  2. This looks awesome, and I am going to try some bison bacon!!! Nice job, Kim!