French people are not used to eating buffalo meat for the obvious reason that buffalo never grazed in France! The only "Buffalo" most French people would know these days is a steak house chain named Buffalo Grill that has restaurants all over the country (do they serve buffalo meat? I doubt it but since I have never eaten at a Buffalo Grill, I would not know for sure.)
We tried buffalo meat because I am someone who likes to try new things. Even if it drives my husband crazy sometimes (mung beans? millet? kasha?), I also find it healthy to step outside one's comfort zone. Since we wanted to find an alternative to beef, I came across grass-fed/no antibiotics buffalo meat one day and I bought it. Sans regret.
For those of you who have never had buffalo, I find that it's drier than beef but despite its association with "wildness", the taste is not too powerful. I don't cook it often, maybe 3-4 times a year... and because of its dryness, I always try to mix it with "liquid". For example, it works great in the Moussaka if you can't find good ground lamb (or want something "lighter"). One of the big plus is that, according to the American Heart Association, buffalo meat supposedly has lower cholesterol level than beef, pork, or chicken even! Who knew? I did not until now.
My children don't care at this point whether I serve them beef of buffalo. They just like their meatballs on their spaghetti! Which is nice because as long as the meatballs are shaped like balls, I can
- 1 pound ground buffalo meat
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup cut parsley
- 200ml (6.7 Fl oz ) tomato sauce + 500ml for the sauce (17 ounces)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) bread crumbs (more if needed)
- 1 egg
- 225 gr (7.5 oz) ricotta cheese
- Cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
- In a bowl, mix in the ground meat with garlic and parsley
- Add tomato sauce and bread crumbs
- In another bowl, mix the egg and ricotta cheese
- Stir in the egg-ricotta into the meat bowl and stirr well.
- If you feel that the texture is too soft to make meatballs, add a little bit more breadcrumbs.
- Preheat oven to 425F (215C)
- Coat a large baking dish with olive oil
- Make meatballs (about 2.5in in diameter) and place them on the baking dish. Make sure you leave enough room between them.
- Cook in the oven for 30mn, flipping them over after 20mn.
- Pour the remaining of the Tomato sauce, mix in with the liquid that came out of the meatballs.
- Cover with foil and place in the oven (350 F- 175C) for another 20-30 minutes.My Personal Comments
- If you are used to making meatballs with pork&beef, you won't add as much breadcrumbs unless you poured too much tomato sauce.
- I don't make my own tomato sauce; I used already prepared one but tried to stay away from the Marinara/3 cheeses ones that tend to be too salty and less healthy.