Pan-Fried Bison Hanger Steak

Chef's notes:

The bison hanger steak is much like the beef hanger steak. It is dark and flavorful like no other steak. It is also similarly shaped and contains that pesky connective tissue running down the middle that will need to be removed. Bison, which used to be called buffalo, is more closely related to cows than it is to buffalo, which are those stupid animals always getting eaten by lions in Africa. So feel free to correct people when they call bison “buffalo.”


  • 2 bison hanger steaks
  • Chanterelle salt
  • White pepper
  • Butter for frying

Bison Hanger Steak Pan-Fried in Butter with Chanterelle Salt and Served with a Tomato Pan Sauce

  1. Pick up some bison hanger steaks. The hanger steak of a bison may be a difficult thing to find, but this recipe will work for any steak, bison or beef. A good substitute for hanger steak is flank or skirt steak. The chanterelle salt will go pretty well with any meat.
  2. Season the bison hanger steaks. I developed this seasoning salt, recipe to the right, one night when I was grinding various dried goods in my spice grinder. I also really liked the texture of ground wild rice. Anyway, if you can’t make the chanterelle salt, don’t worry. Just season the steaks with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat up a frying pan and add some butter. I used a nonstick, but a pan that’s not nonstick would have been better for the pan sauce. Melt about three tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil in the bottom of the frying pan, and heat it up to medium high. Lay the steaks in gently.
  4. Fry the hanger steaks to your liking. After three minutes, flip the steaks over to grill the other side. After three minutes on the second side, take the internal temperature of the steaks using a digital thermometer. For rare 120‒125 degrees F, for medium rare 130‒140, for medium 140‒145. Don’t cook the steaks past 145 or they will get chewy and gross.
  5. Make the pan sauce. Let the steaks rest off to the side for 10 minutes while you prepare the pan sauce, which, in this case, is a shallot plus some sliced cherry/grape tomatoes and some chives. The butter in the pan should be enough to soften and cook everything. Then deglaze the pan with a little wine, port, or stock. About ½ cup should be good. Reduce and serve with the steaks thinly sliced across the grain.

Tips & Tricks

  • Any steak will work with this recipe, but try to find hanger steaks if you can. They are worth the effort.
  • Bison hanger steaks are even darker and more flavorful than beef hanger steaks. So if you find someone that sells bison, be sure to ask for these particular steaks.
  • A regular pan would have worked better because the steaks would have left some fond on the bottom of the pan to deglaze and create a more flavorful pan sauce. I’m not sure why I used a nonstick pan.
  • If butter is too fattening, try canola or, better yet, olive oil to fry your steaks in.
  • Slice the rested steaks thinly across the grain.

Chantrelle Salt Recipe

  • 1 oz dried chanterelle mushrooms
  • 2‒3 Tbsp of coarse sea salt

Put both in a spice grinder and grind to a dust. Use as you would regular salt.

Pan Sauce Recipe

  • 1 cup small tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp chives, snipped
  • ¼ ‒½ cup wine or stock