One of my favorite movies of all time is “Dances With Wolves” starring Kevin Costner. In the film, there is an iconic scene in which Costner tries to explain to a group of Indian friends that he’s encountered a group of buffalo. Since he did not speak their language, he acted out the part until the Indians finally guessed he means a Tatanka (buffalo).
A few weeks ago, Traeger Grills released a new hat and shirt titled the Tatanka. The series features artwork from Rudi Broschofsky highlighting one of America’s most iconic animals. Proceeds went to the Wolakota Buffalo Range, a non-profit reintroducing Buffalo to Lakota homelands. In honor and respect of this iconic animal, and of course, one of my favorite movie scenes, I decided to include bison in one of my favorite dishes.
For this cook, I used two bison ribeyes from the Mossy Oak GameKeeper Butchery. Before getting the bison ribeyes ready to cook, I decided to incorporate a burst of flavor by marinating both ribeyes in a carne asada marinade for six hours.
Carne Asada Marinade:
- 2 Bison Ribeyes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of orange juice
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 diced onions
- 4 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
After marinating the ribeyes in the refrigerator for 6 hours, I cooked them on my Traeger Grills Pro 780 pellet smoker.
Using Traeger’s hickory flavored pellets, I pre-heated the grill to 250 degrees. Once the smoker reached the desired temperature, I placed both bison ribeyes on the bottom rack for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reached 140 degrees.
During the hour-long cook, I took a cast-iron skillet filled with french fries and baked them in the smoker as well. You can use frozen steak fries or make your own in whatever desired amount. Either way, the fries soak up the smoke flavor providing a great taste.
Once the ribeyes reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees, I removed them from the smoker and placed them on a wooden cutting board where I sliced them into thin half-inch strips. I followed this by using 1 cup of finely shredded triple cheddar cheese, a blend of Vermont cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mild cheddar cheese, and covered all of the french fries.
After the fries are covered in cheese, I placed both sliced ribeyes on top. Placing them back into the smoker for another 30 minutes to let all the cheeses melt and for the bison ribeyes to cook closer to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
After the bison-covered fries are fully cooked, I placed a half cup of diced green onions and three tablespoons of sour cream to serve these incredible tasting smoked Tatanka (bison) french fries.
The carne asada marinated bison ribeyes resulted in a remarkably tender bite that exploded with flavor. The wood-fired smoke added another flavor profile that, when mixed with the french fries, cheese, sour cream and onions, made for an incredible combination in each bite.