How To Prepare Mummified Bison Steaks, If You Were Curious

In 1984, a dinner group of eight was lucky enough to try something a little unusual — the meat from a 50,000-year-old mummified bison carcass that had been discovered in the surrounding area of Alaska (per Atlas Obscura).

The bison, nicknamed "Blue Babe," was found embedded in the Alaskan permafrost by gold miners who had melted part of the ice around it while on an expedition. After the miners informed the University of Alaska of their discovery, Dale Guthrie, who was a paleontologist at the university at the time, acted quickly. He cut what he could from the bison to preserve the meat from the carcass before it spoiled. Then, he let the head and neck thaw out. The researchers found that the meat was still well intact, having a similar consistency to that of beef jerky.

After toying with the idea, the team decided to try and eat the bison meat — but exactly what kind of dish is best served using 50,000-year-old bison?

The ancient art of stewing bison steaks

As it turns out, making a stew is the best way to use the ancient neck meat of a bison. Guthrie hosted a dinner for a small group of people with bison stew on the menu. It was made up of "a generous amount of garlic and onions, along with carrots and potatoes, [and] the aged meat," which, as Guthrie described via Atlas Obscura, "gave off an unmistakable beef aroma, not unpleasantly mixed with a faint smell of the earth in which it was found, with a touch of mushroom." The stew was paired with a wine... et voilà! A complete course highlighting a very old protein.

When all was said and done, the final product looked and smelled similar to a modern-day, more gamey version of a beef stew. According to those who were brave enough to try it, it tasted pretty good — albeit with a slight hint of mud.

"It tasted a little bit like what I would have expected, with a little bit of wring of mud," said Guthrie (via Atlas Obscura). "But it wasn't that bad. Not so bad that we couldn't each have a bowl."

Mummified bison meat may not exactly be readily available to you from your local butcher, but if you're ever lucky enough to get your hands on some, at least now you know how to prepare it. If not, you can always try bison chili using bison meat that is far less aged.