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Water Buffalo, Bison Two Ways, Rutabaga Mash

three water buffalos

Local And Seasonal All Year Round

Just because winter weather has taken hold of the Midwest doesn't mean that area gardeners are taking a break. It takes quite a bit of planning in the fall and perhaps even more attention and care than gardening in the spring and summer, but as Jami Scholl and Leigh Bush prove, it is possible to harvest fresh food when there's snow on the ground.

For our first recipe, Chef Daniel Orr is channeling his Grandma with a Polish Rutabaga mash.

Then we hop in the car to visit a unique area farm. Jeff Mease is a restaurateur by trade, owning a number of pizza places in south-central Indiana, but his true passion seems to be his 69-acre farm and his herd of water buffalo.

Bison, also commonly called American buffaloes, are only distantly related to the buffaloes on Mease's farm. Bison meat is called "America's Original Red Meat" because it was the main protein source for Plains Indians until the animals were nearly hunted to extinction in the late-19th century. These days, in addition to wild bison herds in national parks and nature preserves, farms are keeping bison as livestock. According to the website Eat Bison Meat, Indiana boasts 34 bison farms, including Buffalo Nickel Ranch in Monroe, County.

Chef Orr is using bison meat in his Bison, Pumpkin and Lentil Chili.

Bison is a good substitute for beef since it's lower in both fat and cholesterol. But for our final recipe for stew, we will be using some beef brisket.

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