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State Plate Recipe: Wyoming’s Bison Jerky

Older than the Old West

INSP fans of The Virginian: The Men from Shiloh love travel to 1900s Medicine Bow, Wyoming with the mysterious man known only as the Virginian. But Wyoming tourists can go even further back in time. Located seven miles from Medicine Bow, visitors can catch a photo op at the Dinosaur Bone House, a cabin constructed of 5,796 fossils, dug from Como Bluff, a nearby ridge.

Afton’s Antlers

Stretching over Main Street in Afton is a 75-foot arch. Not unusual, you might think…until you consider it’s made from 3,011 elk antlers. Fear not, no animals were harmed in the making of this arch. Bull Elks shed their antlers naturally in March and April, and soon after, they begin growing anew.

Beware of Bison

The bison might be Wyoming’s official state animal, but it’s best not to try and take that selfie with the shaggy creatures, as more tourists are injured by bison at Yellowstone than by bears.

A major source of meat for native tribes and early settlers, an estimated 20 to 30 million bison once roamed the plains across America. Today about 500,000 reside in North America, most of which are crossbred with cattle and live on ranches.

Bison, or buffalo, offers more protein and nutrition with fewer calories and less fat than commercially produced beef. Bison can be cooked the same way you enjoy beef, yet it has a richer, sweeter flavor.

Try making this bison jerky right in your own kitchen, no dehydrator necessary.

Bison Jerky

Ingredients

  • 1 to 3 buffalo flank steaks
  • 1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 C soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. honey

Spices to taste:

  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • Black pepper

You can make this as elaborate or simple as you want. Be creative. Add spices you like or go with just one or two.

Directions

  1. Partially freeze meat to make it easier to slice thinly.
  2. Trim visible fat from meat and slice pieces 1/4 thick or thinner.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients for marinade and add bison strips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, up to 2 days.

To Bake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees.
  2. Take bison from marinade and arrange the strips on a wire rack.
  3. Place the rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. You may want to prop the oven door open slightly to allow moisture to escape, and check on the meat every 30 to 45 minutes to make sure it’s not burning.
  6. The finished jerky should be dry but flexible.
  7. Store your jerky in re-sealable plastic storage bags or in an airtight container. Jerky keeps well without refrigeration, but you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer.