He's from Texas.
He lived in Mammoth for a season or two, and had to fend for himself while he was there. Poor thing. Anyway, he told me he used to make buffalo tacos when he lived there, and that he'd sing "Buffalo Tacos" to the tune of "Buffalo Soldiers" by Bob Marley. I think he even sang a verse for me to demonstrate. I didn't think much of any part of this story at the time, since it was a) less gory than the one about hunting and gutting his own venison; b) an affront to reggae lovers everywhere; c) probably just something Texans do.
One evening, we decided to cook dinner together at my house. You know, one of those couple-y things that people do together when they are still so enamored of each other that they can't get enough, so they plan the meal together, cook it together, eat it together, talk about how great it was together, and suddenly realize that 48 hours have gone by and they are still in each other's company.
He said, "Let's make buffalo tacos, like I used to make in Mammoth! I'll bring the meat."
Because that's what men do.
|No, this wasn't the last remaining wild bison roaming the Great Plains.|
I was a little wary of this whole idea. I'd seen bison burgers in the freezer case at the grocery store, as well as bison stew meat. But I'd never tried it, and wasn't sure how gamey it would taste. The Texan assured me buffalo meat was not very gamey, and would render off less fat than ground beef. Given that he has eaten deer shortly after killing it, I wasn't sure how closely aligned his version of gamey was to that of Normal People. But it turns out he was telling the truth.
Neither one of us had a real recipe for buffalo tacos. He usually used one of those seasoning packets, which he suggested and I must have made a face about, since he didn't bring one. I usually used a few spices in the meat, which I added as he stirred**, but it was missing something. A jar of salsa sat on the counter, and we both agreed it was worth a try. We added a few spoonfuls to the meat, which we thought tasted perfect.
He heated up the tortillas. He put cheese and more salsa on his. I put cilantro, radishes, lettuce, green onions, and more salsa on mine. We sat, googly-eyed, at the table together and ate.
We'll have to do it again some time.
**Despite me putting the real version of that song on the iPod, he sang his version almost the entire time he was cooking the buffalo. Guess which version was stuck in my head the next day.