Bison carpaccio is a delightful appetizer that’s surprisingly simple to make! Thinly sliced raw bison tenderloin is served topped with shaved parmesan cheese, capers, fresh arugula, and a light and tangy vinaigrette dressing.
This impressive no-cook Italian dish makes an excellent appetizer, lunch addition, or light side dish served with bread or crackers, especially during the summer when it’s too hot to turn on the oven.
Similar to steak tartare, carpaccio is a wonderful way to experience the full flavors of the meat. Toppings like capers, lemon juice, and shaved parmesan cheese also really enhance the natural flavors of the bison in a delicious way without being too overwhelming.
Bison is a wonderful choice for carpaccio because it has some of the same flavors as beef but it’s leaner with a higher amount of protein. If you love beef carpaccio then this version with bison is sure to hit as well!
How to make bison carpaccio at home
Firstly, you want to get the bison meat ready for slicing. To do this, you’ll need to wrap the entire piece of meat tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure it’s covered well so that no part of the meat is exposed.
Once wrapped, place the meat in the freezer. This helps firm up the meat, making it easier to slice later on. You’ll want to leave it in there for about two hours, or until it’s firm but not completely frozen solid.
While the bison is chilling in the freezer, let’s prepare a tasty vinaigrette to go with it. Take a small mixing bowl and pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Now, if you have truffle oil and you’re feeling fancy, add a few drops of it into the bowl. This oil gives an exquisite, earthy aroma that elevates the dish.
Next, cut a lemon in half and give it a good squeeze to get some fresh juice into the bowl. Be careful not to let any seeds fall in! Add some Dijon mustard. Season your mixture with salt and pepper, giving it a good stir. Once everything’s mixed well, set it aside for later.
Now, once your two hours are up, take the bison meat out of the freezer. It’s slicing time! You’ll need a very sharp knife for this. The sharper the knife, the easier and cleaner your slices will be.
Hold the meat firmly with one hand, and with the other, slice the meat. You want your slices to be super thin, almost like paper. This not only makes it easier to eat but also allows the meat to absorb the flavors more.
Now that you have your bison slices, take a plate out of the fridge (it’s best if the plate is cold). Lay out the slices of bison on the plate, slightly overlapping each other, sort of like how fish scales look.
Remember the vinaigrette you made earlier? It’s time to bring that back. Drizzle it generously over the bison slices, making sure each slice gets a bit of the dressing.
For a fresh touch, take some arugula leaves and place them on top of the bison slices. Arugula has a peppery flavor that complements the meat beautifully. After that, sprinkle some capers around.
These little green buds add a burst of flavor. If you have some Parmesan cheese, take a cheese grater and shave some thin slices right over the meat.
Your super easy bison carpaccio is ready. Serve it right away to enjoy the freshness.
Bison. Use either a sirloin or tenderloin for the carpaccio. Make sure it’s a lean cut and remove any sinews if you see them because they are tough and hard to cut and chew.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Light seasonings are used to help enhance the natural meaty flavors.
Olive oil. Extra virgin has a nice bold flavor and it’s used to create the light vinaigrette dressing for this carpaccio.
Arugula leaves. Used for serving. They have a strong bitter taste that pairs well with bison and the other toppings.
Parmesan cheese. Shaved slices add a touch of cheesiness and saltiness to this dish.
Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed and is combined with olive oil and other seasonings to create the dressing.
Capers and Dijon mustard. For briny and tangy pops of flavor.
Truffle oil (optional). This earthy and intense mushroom finishing oil can be added to your vinaigrette if you want to add a deeper depth of flavor to this tasty appetizer.
- It’s helpful to freeze the meat before trying to slice it. Semi-frozen meat will hold its shape better than room temperature or cold meat, making it much easier to slice thinly.
- Use your sharpest knife and work slowly in order to achieve nice and thin slices of bison.
- If you are having trouble getting paper-thin slices, sandwich the cut meat slices between plastic wrap or parchment paper. Pound it out thinner with the flat end of a meat mallet or a weighed rolling pin.
- Choose high-quality meat. Carpaccio is served raw, so make sure you are using the best and freshest cut of meat you can find. Let your butcher know you are making carpaccio and ask what their recommendations are.
Bison. Use beef tenderloin, sirloin, or top-round steak instead!
Capers. If you don’t like capers try using green or kalamata olives to add a similar briny and salty pop of flavor.
Lemon juice. You could use white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
Arugula. Sliced radicchio leaves, mixed greens, or dandelion leaves.
Parmesan cheese. Use shaved asiago cheese.
Feel free to add 1 teaspoon of honey to your vinaigrette dressing for some sweetness.
For a creamy dressing add 2 tablespoons of mayo.
Other topping suggestions – pickled artichokes, pickled shallots, pickled or sliced red onion, or cherry tomatoes.
Frequently asked questions
Tenderloin or sirloin are the best cuts of meat to use for this dish. It is naturally very tender and lean so it’s not tough or chewy to eat raw.
Yes, it’s a classic Italian appetizer made with pieces of thinly sliced raw meat or fish served with capers, shaved cheese, arugula, and extra virgin olive oil. By enjoying the meat raw it allows its naturally bold and savory flavors to truly shine!
Both are raw meat dishes. The main difference is that the meat used in carpaccios is sliced paper thin and served with a light vinaigrette and meat for tartare is chopped into chunks and mixed with egg yolks, capers, and other richly flavored spices.
Storing leftovers of raw dishes like bison carpaccio requires extra care due to the potential for bacterial growth. If you find yourself with leftover bison carpaccio, follow these steps to store it safely:
- Cool Quickly: If the carpaccio has been sitting out, try to cool it down as quickly as possible. The longer it stays at room temperature, the higher the risk of bacterial growth.
- Airtight Container: Transfer the carpaccio to an airtight container, ensuring there’s minimal air exposure. If you have parchment or wax paper, consider layering it between slices to prevent them from sticking together.
- Refrigerate: Store the airtight container in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Ideally, consume the leftovers within one day for the best quality and safety.
- Consider Freezing: If you’re unsure about consuming the carpaccio within a day, you can freeze it. While freezing might alter the texture slightly, it’s safer for longer storage. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw in the refrigerator and consume immediately.
- Re-serving Tip: If serving leftover carpaccio, consider drizzling with fresh olive oil, lemon juice, or freshly grated cheese to refresh its flavor.
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Hope you will like this bison carpaccio recipe as much as we do. Please rate the recipe if you made it and leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
- 1 lb bison sirloin or tenderloin (lean and free from sinew)
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup Arugula leaves
- 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, shaved
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- Dijon mustard
- Truffle oil (optional)
- Wrap the bison meat in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours to firm up.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, a few drops of truffle oil (if using), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to make a vinaigrette. Set aside.
- Using a very sharp knife, slice the semi-frozen bison meat as thinly as possible. You want to aim for paper thin slices. Arrange the sliced meat on a chilled plate, slightly overlapping each slice.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the bison slices. Arrange a few arugula leaves on top of the bison slices, then sprinkle the capers and shaved Parmesan cheese over the top.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 263mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 26g