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September 1, 2014

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Chef K.C. Fazel of Tender at Luxor: Bison is America’s original red meat

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K.C. Fazel is the executive chef of Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach winds down his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy and heads to the East Coast for a brief visit before returning to the rigors of Vegas DeLuxe, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with K.C. Fazel, executive chef of Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

By K.C. Fazel

Take yourself back to the days of the Old Frontier, and what do you visualize?

Most of us conjure up images of the cowboy and American Indian, and, in that horizon of our mind, we see the wild bison roaming the vast American prairies.

July is National Bison Month, and, as the only steakhouse on the Strip serving bison, we decided to pay tribute with several bison specials available at Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

The bison tasting platter features a trio of masterfully prepared meats including seared bison rib eye, bison top sirloin braised pot roast and smoked bison sausage made in house. The platter is served with maple-baked beans, barbecued Texas sweet onions and roasted fingerling potatoes.

The charred bison tenderloin Carpaccio is served with a corn chipotle relish, wild arugula, roasted red pepper mustard aioli and shaved Aggiano cheese.

History of Bison

Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

Perhaps the most important wild animal in the development of North America, the bison was the center of life for the Plains Indians.

The bison contributed significantly to their culture by providing them with food, clothing and shelter. It is safe to say that bison was America’s first red meat.

Preparing Bison

Rather coarsely textured and sweet, bison has a similar flavor profile to beef.

Bison also has significant dietary advantages over beef: It is high in protein and extremely low in cholesterol (approximately 30 percent less than beef).

A comparable steak of bison to beef generally has about half the calories and fat.

When cooking a steak of bison, I recommend a “low and slow” method. Bison must be cooked at a lower temperature and not as thoroughly as beef.

The lounge at Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

The lounge at Tender Steak & Seafood at Luxor.

I recommend and insist that we do not cook over medium for any bison steak at Tender. Rare to medium-rare preparation will give the optimal bison steak experience.

Sourcing Bison

Our source of bison served at Tender comes from 55,000 acres of land at Durham Buffalo Ranch near Gillette, Wyo.

Durham is one of the oldest buffalo operations in North America and has been family operated since the 1950s.

At this ranch, bison graze on natural plains where they gain weight naturally, and no hormones or artificial growth stimulants ever enter into the food supply or blood stream.

Bison are an incredible part of our history as Americans, and I am proud to offer it on our menu. I hope that more guests will be adventurous and order the bison next time they come and dine with us at Tender.

Check out our other guest columns today from chef Erick Stecher of SHe by Morton’s at Crystals and Adam Sperling of Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and Thursday Michael Clift of “The Australian Bee Gees” at Excalibur, Charles Ressler of First Fridays and the staff of Vegas.com.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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