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Ground baffalo.

Ground buffalo

More often than you might expect, buffalomeat shows up in supermarkets--as ground patties, usually in the freezer case. (Sometimes you can special-order other cuts as well.)

Ground buffalo is similar in flavor to leanground beef, but it has the edge on intensity of taste. Like lean beef, it is priced between $2 and $4 a pound and, ranging from 10 to 14 percent fat, also needs special handling to avoid tasting dry. If you hesitate to enjoy meat from an animal that was once near extinction, take comfort: today, farm-reared herds total about 60,000 head. This is in addition to buffalo sheltered in national parks and game refuges.

To take advantage of buffalo's fuller flavor,try the patties coated with crushed pepper and a touch of honey, then broiled. Or shape the ground meat into sweet-tart meatballs, reminiscent of sauerbraten, to go with noodles. We also feature the meat in a variation on Southwest Indian pozole, which usually uses lamb (unlike the Mexican pozole from Jalisco based on pork).

Peppered Buffalo Patties with Relish

1 pound ground buffalo

3 to 4 tablespoons whole blackpeppercorns

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon hot water

Black-eyed pea relish (recipefollows)

Divide buffalo meat into 4 equal portionsand shape each into a 1-inch-thick patty; set on waxed paper.

Crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestleor with the bottom of a flat, heavy glass or small pan. Put crushed pepper on paper alongside meat, and pat each patty on all sides in pepper, using all. Set patties well apart on a rack in a broiler pan, about 12- by 14-inch size.

Mix honey with hot water; drizzle some ofthe liquid over top and sides of patties. Broil meat about 5 inches from the heat until lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn with a wide spatula and drizzle top and sides of patties with the honey liquid; for medium-rare, broil until lightly browned (cut to test), about 5 minutes longer.

Pour the remaining honey liquid overmeat and serve. Accompany with the black-eyed pea relish. Makes 4 servings.

Black-eyed pea relish. Drain 1 can (15oz.) black-eyed peas. In a bowl, combine peas with 1 small onion, diced; 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed; 1/4 cup each olive oil or salad oil and cider vinegar; and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve, or cover and chill up to 4 days, stirring several times. Makes 2 cups.--Clara Megraw, Santa Ana, Calif.

Buffalo Meatballs with Noodles

1 tablespoon olive or salad oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 small can (8 oz.) crushedpineapple, drained

1/4 cup raisins

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 pound ground buffalo

1 large egg

1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs


1/2 pound bry wide egg noodles

3/4 cup each regular-strength beefbroth and dry red wine

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Italian parsley, optional

Salt and pepper

In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over mediumheat, combine oil, onion, garlic, pineapple, and raisins. Stir until liquid evaporates (take care not to scorch), about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ginger; set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix buffalowith fruit mixture, egg, and crumbs. Shape meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. Set balls slightly apart in a 10- by 15-inch rimmed pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 450| oven until meatballs are lightly browned and still slightly pink in center when cut, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 4- to 5-quart pan, bring 3quarts of water to boiling on high heat. Add noodles and cook, uncovered, until tender to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain quickly, then pour noodles onto a warm platter. Set meatballs on noodles; cover loosely and keep warm.

Working quickly, add broth, wine, andbutter to meat pan, stirring over high heat to release browned bits as mixture comes to a full, rolling boil; stir and boil 2 to 3 minutes to reduce slightly, then pour sauce over meatballs. Garnish with parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Buffalo Pozole

2 tablespoons olive or salad oil

2 large onions, chopped

3/4 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 pound ground buffalo

2 cans (13 oz. each) tomatillos

1 can (15 1/2 oz.) hominy, drained

1 can (15 oz.) baby corn, drained; or1 package (8 oz.) frozen baby corn

1/4 cup chopped fresh cliantro(coriander)

1 tablespoon dry oregano leaves

5 small dried hot red chilies

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium heat,combine 1 tablespoon oil and onion; stir often until onion is lightly golden and sweet to taste, about 20 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir occasionally until liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Pour mixture out of pan and set aside.

Add 1 more tablespoon oil to pan alongwith the buffalo; stir frequently on high heat until meat is well browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes.

Return onion mixture to pan along withtomatillos and juice (break up tomatillos with spoon); stir to free browned bits. Add hominy, corn, cilantro, oregano, and red chilies; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors. If made ahead, let cool, cover, and chill up to overnight; stir over medium heat until hot. Spoon out and discard hot chilies, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Photo: Served withnoodles, buffalo meatballs give a surprise twist to a popular family dish. The moist meat was oven browned

Photo: SouthwestIndian--style stew includes ground buffalo meat, hominy, tomatillos, and baby corn

Photo: Pepper-crusted broiled buffalo patty goeswith black-eyed pea relish; accompany with breadsticks and a green salad
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:May 1, 1987
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