As the child of frugal German immigrants, I ate a lot of meatloaf as a child, only we called it falscher Hase, literally, fake rabbit. After WWII, when meat rations were still in effect, German housewives would mix up whatever meaty scraps they had, add lots of spices, form an oblong, stuff a few (cheaper than meat) hard-boiled eggs inside, and wrap the whole thing in bacon. Once baked and perhaps decorated with caper or pickle eyes, it resembled the noble and coveted rabbit. I thought it was delicious.

But many of you have a childhood meatloaf memory of a slab of overly dense, flavorless, dry beef. Enter the noble bison: earlier this week Dr. Oz featured a segment on the health and flavor benefits of bison, aka buffalo meat. With fewer calories, about half as much fat, and a terrific flavor profile, bison is substituting beef in many a recipe. If you don’t want to go all out on the swap, try half bison/ half beef in this delicious meatloaf recipe.

The bison is low in fat while the beef loosens the bison texture and imparts a “rounder” flavor. The result is more moisture, less fat, and a curiously hearty yet refined mouthful. Bison is inexpensive and available at Costco.

The recipe is simple and pretty much foolproof:

2 lbs minced meat (half bison, half beef)

1 minced onion

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp Brewer’s yeast

2 cloves minced garlic

2 eggs

1 generous handful capers

pinches of salt, pepper

Butter a rectangular oven-proof dish, spoon in the mixture, and bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 F.

 

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