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Grilled Bison Tenderloin with Black Rice and Shiso-Plum Compote

Grass-fed bison meat has surged in popularity in California, where Myers says people love its novelty but appreciate its resemblance to beef. Grass-fed bison has a nutritional edge over beef: It's lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in protein. Myers, who has a predilection for Asian flavors, serves the meat with nutty-tasting black rice from China and a sweet-tart plum compote flavored with the aromatic Japanese herb shiso. Bison is available from lindnerbison.com or eastofadinbison.com.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Chinese black rice (7 ounces), see Note
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds red or purple plums, pitted and cut into eighths
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 shiso leaves, shredded, or 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves plus 1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • Four 8-ounce bison tenderloin steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick, tied with string
  • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the red wine and cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the plums and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of wine and the sugar and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat until the plums are soft and the liquid is thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shiso.
  3. Preheat a grill. Rub the steaks with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks over a hot fire for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a steak registers 125° for medium-rare meat. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, then snip off the strings. Transfer the steaks to plates and serve with the black rice and plum compote.

Make Ahead

The black rice and plum compote can be refrigerated overnight.


Chinese black rice is available at Asian markets or specialty stores.

Suggested Pairing

If you're cooking something as big (and big-flavored) as bison, you need a substantial red to pour with it. A good choice is a Syrah from Napa Valley, since its characteristic spiciness also pairs well with the herbal shiso in this dish.

Contributed By Published April 2006

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