A pan-seared steak is one of life’s great pleasures. Here we substitute bison for beef and top it with a rich brandy-butter pan sauce.

Game plan: If you want the richness of beef without any of the guilt, bison is your answer. The only downside to this low-fat meat is that it dries out quickly, so cooking these steaks beyond medium rare is not recommended.

This recipe was featured as part of our Easy Weeknight Dinners photo gallery.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 15 mins

Ingredients (7)

  • 2 (8-ounce) bison strip steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup brandy


  1. Coat the steaks with the olive oil and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, about 3 minutes. Place the steaks in the dry pan and cook, undisturbed, until well-browned, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove the steaks to serving plates and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add 2 pieces of the butter and all of the shallot. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot has softened, about 1 minute.
  4. Turn off the heat and carefully add the brandy. Turn the heat back on to medium and cook, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is reduced slightly and the alcohol flavor has cooked off, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 pieces of butter and stir until incorporated fully. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve.

Beverage pairing: Silverado Merlot, Napa, California. Dark red wines are always a good match for steak, but the nutty, dried-fruit “sweetness” of this brandy sauce calls for a wine that’s more round and fruity than savory. Merlot is a good call. This Napa version answers the brandy with a toasty spice from oak and introduces its own black cherry and smoky chocolate notes to the party.