Bison meat is very high in protein, low in fat, and damn good eating, and this simple recipe is one of the best. You don’t have to cook this dish in a Dutch oven over an open fire for it to be outstanding, and furthermore, you don’t have to serve it steaming hot on tin plates, in a hunting camp, pitched by the side of a rushing mountain stream, but it helps.
- Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 pounds bison chuck or round roast, cut into 1½ inch cubes
- 2 large yellow onions, coarsely diced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef stock (substitute 2 tablespoons good-quality beef base plus 2 cups water)
- 1 cup dark beer or porter
- 2 to 3 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1(6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
- In a hot dutch oven, heavy pot, or braising pan, heat the oil over high heat. Sear the bison on all sides and set aside. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. When they turn translucent, add the flour. Stir in well and when the flour has browned a bit, add the seared meat. Pour in the beef stock and beer, stirring well to dislodge the cooked meat, flour, and onions from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and add the carrots, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, garlic, and allspice. Cook uncovered over low heat for 3 hours, gently stirring occasionally from the bottom, adding more liquid if necessary. When the meat is fork-tender but not falling apart, add the potatoes and cook until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper, adjusting seasoning to taste. The gravy should be fairly thick. If it is too thick, thin with water or beef stock.
- Serve in warm bowls with a bit of fresh chopped parsley for color and plenty of crusty bread and butter.