Sunday 30 January 2011

Buffalo stew - a high protein meal in a bowl

Buffalo is becoming a lot easier to come by in the UK, thanks to farms like Laverstoke Park.  I was initially introduced to buffalo by Alternative Meats, but now there are larger home delivery grocery companies like Abel and Cole that stock and deliver it to your door.

As meats go, buffalo is extremely high protein as a percentage of the total kcal payload.  Comparing average lean beef braising steak with the Laverstoke Park buffalo braising steak:-

                           Beef    Buffalo
kcals/100g         126.3    95.0
Protein                 23.0    21.7
Fat                         3.8    0.7
Carbohydrate        0.0    0.4
% protein             68.8    91.8
% fat                    31.2    6.7
% carbohydrate     0.0    1.6

As you can see, bang for buck, buffalo gives you a heck of a lot more protein for your kcals.  There are also differences in the micronutrients, primarily B12 and iron, but they seem to vary more depending on the feed of the livestock and grass-fed seems to mostly show improved levels of desirable micronutrients than grain-fed.  Lots of research out there on the Internets...

On with the recipe!  And yet again, using the Star Chef is a win in terms of minimising washing up and attentiveness in the kitchen.  Browning and cooking all in the same pot and you can leave it to do the slow cooking thing and not worry about drying out, over-cooking or sticking to the bottom of the pot.  (if only there was a better mechanism for getting the pot out of the device... that's the only annoying bit)

Buffalo stew (serves 4;  395 kcals,  57g protein, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 3g fibre, 1 portion fruit & veg):-
  • 1kg good quality cubed buffalo braising steak (beef will do fine as a substitute)
  • 30g plain flour (wholemeal)
  • 15ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp tangy jam (cherry, apricot, plum - not raspberry or strawberry)
  • 200ml red wine
  • 400ml beef stock (made from a good quality cube is fine)
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh thyme

Peel and slice the carrots, onion and garlic.  And finely chop the herbs.

Add oil to a non-stick pan, heat gently and soften the onion and garlic.

Add the cubed meat and brown.

Add the flour and jam and stir to coat the meat.  Then add the stock, herbs and carrots and cook on a low heat for 2-4 hours.

Serve with root vegetables (celeriac, sweet potato and parsnips go particularly well), either in chunks or mashed/pureed.

BTW the mash here is celeriac vanilla puree.  Recipe to follow as it's -stunning-!

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