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This delicious bison stew recipe is perfect for a chilly evening. It’s a hearty stew that can be made in a slow cooker, or on the stovetop in a large heavy pot.
The great thing about this thick soup is that you can put it in a crock pot and forget about it. There is minimal time in front of the stove. Total prep time is 20 minutes at most, and then you can walk away and do other things while it cooks.
How To Cook Bison Meat
Bison meat is not very different from beef. You can treat a slab of bison the same way you would treat beef. Make a steak, barbecue it, cook it in soup or stew, such as this. Even the flavorings are pretty similar. Changes are, if something will taste good on or with beef, it’ll taste good on or with bison too.
What To Do With Bison Stew Meat
As with beef stew meat, it’s always best to brown your bison stew meat first. Regardless of the seasonings you add, browning it first will give the bison depth of flavor.
Where To Buy Bison Stew Meat
While bison isn’t as readily available as beef, it is becoming more common as people recognize its good flavor and healthier attributes more and more.
I get my bison at Whole Foods. But if you call around, chances are you’ll eventually find a store that carries it.
What To Serve With Bison Stew
This is a pretty hearty meal on its own. But you can certainly add to it or serve something on the side. Here are some ideas:
- Serve it over cauliflower rice
- Serve it over cooked pasta
- Add sweet potatoes to the stew, or serve it over a baked sweet potato.
- Add cubed butternut squash to the stew.
- Serve this over cooked spaghetti squash
- Put leftovers on a whole wheat bun for lunch
- Add a red bell pepper to the stew
- Add some tomato sauce or tomato paste to the stew
- Use ground bison meat (or even ground beef) to make meatballs instead of using the stew chunks. (Note that the ground meat should be added to hot liquid. So warm everything first before adding them. Or you can brown them in a skillet first.)
- Add some cayenne pepper to add a kick.
- Add some parmesan cheese or grated cheddar cheese for garnish.
- Add some chopped, fresh parsley for garnish.
- Add some kale or spinach to this for more veggies.
- Serve with a side of black beans, or simply mix them in.
- Use this stew to make a delicious shepherd’s pie.
- While this already has onion in it, you can strengthen the flavor by adding a bit of onion powder.
About Bison Stew Ingredients
Bison meat – Top round London broil, but into 1 or 2-inch cubes.
Vegetable stock – no sugar added. You can also use beef stock if you prefer.
Baby carrots – You can use any type of carrot you like. I just used baby carrots for ease of use.
Red chopped onions – Yellow onions work well too.
Celery – sliced chunky, unless you like your celery on the thinner side.
Portobello mushrooms – chop them as thick or thin as you like.
Whole wheat pastry flour – For a gluten-free option, try making a slurry with arrowroot powder or cornstarch and use that instead.
Balsamic vinegar – This can be red or white. You can also use a dry red wine if you prefer.
Honey – You can use any sweetener you prefer. But honey does add a nice flavor to this dish.
Ground black pepper – A fine grind works best, but use what you have.
Garlic powder – Or you can use 6-8 medium cloves of garlic. Do not use garlic salt, as this can over-salt your soup. Add any salt separately after cooking.
Small bay leaves – Be sure to remove each bay leaf after cooking – do not eat.
Paprika – Don’t use smoked paprika. You want the regular stuff for this.
Olive oil – You can also use coconut oil.
While I did not use these, any of these would be a lovely addition if you wish to use them.
- Red chile – minced
- 2 small rosemary sprigs – Toss the entire sprig in, then pull it out before eating.
- 2 small sprigs thyme – Toss the entire sprig in, then pull it out before eating.
- 2 -4 medium potatoes – Russet potatoes work best here, but Yukon gold will work well too. Chop them into chunks.
How To Make Bison Stew
Prepare your veggies by chopping them all into bite-size chunks (Don’t chop the carrots, you can put those in whole).
Put all your veggies in a large pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and all your spices. Cook until the onions begin to get soft. Stir constantly. Once finished, pour the veggies into your crock pot. Keep that pot handy for the bison.
Place the bison on a stable work surface. Cut into bite-sized chunks. Put the bison in the same pot you just cooked your veggies in (Don’t wash the pot first as this will help to add some flavor to the meat).
To the meat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, flour, vinegar, and honey. Cook, stirring constantly until most of the meat is browned. Remember, you’re not trying to actually cook the meat here. Just get the outside a bit brown. It will cook completely in the slow cooker.
Place your brown bison stew meat in the slow cooker (make sure to get all the browned bits!) with your veggies. Add the veggie broth, and turn on your slow cooker.
If using fresh herbs, place rosemary or thyme on top of your stew. Cover and cook on low heat for a total time of 6-8 hours. Allow to cool a bit, then serve.
Note: Get to know your slow cooker! Some newer models will cook in shorter time allotments, while older models tend to need more time (up to 1-2 hours!) Adjust cooking times appropriately.
Instant Pot Bison Stew
Brown the meat using the sauté function on your Instant Pot.
Follow the recipe up to putting everything into a slow cooker. Instead, simply add everything else to the stew meat in the Instant Pot.
Cook at high pressure for 35 minutes. Allow for a 15 minutes natural release.
Stove Top Bison Stew
Follow the recipes as stated, but instead of putting everything in a slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients to a large pot.
Bring to a boil at medium-high heat, (increase heat to high if you are in a hurry) then reduce heat to medium heat or lower to simmer the stew. Cook until everything is cooked through. The bison should read at 165 F. when it’s finished. This can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes. So keep an eye on it.
More Healthy Stew Recipes
Hearty Bison Stew Recipe Card
Slow Cooker Bison Stew
- 1 ½ lb. bison (top round London broil)
- 4 cups vegetable stock (no sugar added)
- 1 lb. baby carrots
- 1 cups red onion (chopped)
- 4 stalks celery (sliced)
- 2 large portobello mushrooms (chopped)
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup balsamic vineger
- 2 tbsp. honey
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 small bay leaves (remove after cooking – do not eat)
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Prepare your veggies by chopping them all into bite size chunks (Don't chop the carrots, you can put those in whole).Put all your veggies in a large pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and all your spices. Cook until onions begin to get soft. Stir constantly. Once finished, pour the veggies into your crock pot. Keep that pot handy for the bison.
- Place the bison on a stable work surface. Cut into bite sized chunks.
- Put the bison in the same pot you just cooked your veggies in (Don't wash the pot first as this will help to add some flavor to the meat).To the meat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, flour, vinegar and honey. Cook, stirring constantly until most of the meat is browned. Remember, you're not trying to actually cook the meat here. Just get the outside a bit brown. It will cook completely in the slow cooker.
- Place your meat mixture in the slow cooker with your veggies. Add the veggie broth, and turn on your slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Allow to cool a bit, then serve.Note: Get to know your slow cooker! Some newer models will cook in shorter time allotments, while older models tend to need more time (up to 1-2 hours!) Adjust cooking times appropriately.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 6/28/2010.
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
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