Bison and Smoked Porter Pie with Mushrooms Recipe

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The Alaska from Scratch CookbookBison, both massive and majestic, are often overlooked as one of Alaska’s great game meats. Bison has a mild flavor, is quite tender, and is leaner than beef. It works well in stews, braises, and a steak and ale pie like this one. Bison is becoming more popular, and therefore more widely available, but if you can’t find any near you, 2 pounds of cubed chuck beef roast is a great substitute. As for the beer, I used a robust smoked porter from Alaskan Brewing Company, but any good dark beer should work nicely.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds bison, cubed
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups smoked porter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. In a 12" cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place the flour in a resealable plastic bag. Add the bison, seal, and shake to coat. Sear the bison until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until browned and crisp. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender and fragrant.
  3. Deglaze the pan with ¾ cup of the porter, scraping the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sugar, parsley, and thyme, stirring until well combined. Add the remaining ¾ cup smoked porter and the beef broth. Stir in the mushrooms and seared bison. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully cover the skillet with foil and bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven. Increase the heat to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and cold water together until smooth. Stir into the filling mixture to thicken. Place the puff pastry sheet over the top of the filling. Cut a few slices in the center to vent. Using a pastry brush, brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and cooked through. Serve in bowls.

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