Grass Roots Kitchen Bison Stew celebrates the Prairies. The Bison is sourced from Swan Lake First Nation and is entirely prairie grass fed. The Swan Lake community holds their relationship with the Bison as culturally sacred and Tall Grass prepares it in that spirit. The stew is slowly simmered with local organic root vegetables and a splash of local Half Pints Beer to deepen the flavour.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp plus 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp plus 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground juniper berries
3 lbs bison stewing meat
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups white onions, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 cups mushrooms
1 tsp thyme
1 can (30 oz) diced tomatoes, well drained
1 1/3 cups beef or chicken stock
1 1/4 cups dark beer (we prefer Half Pints “Stir Stick Stout”)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup cubed potatoes
4 cups chopped carrots
4 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- To make the Roux, combine butter and flour in saucepan over medium heat. Cook until mixture starts to brown and emits a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and juniper. Add meat and toss to coat.
- In a braising pan (or Dutch oven) over high heat, heat oil. Add meat and cook until well browned on all sides.
- Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in garlic and mushrooms and cook a few more minutes. Until softened.
- Season with 1/2 Tbsp salt, 1/2 Tbsp pepper, and thyme. Add tomatoes, stock, beer, vinegar, and reserved roux. Stirring to combine.
- Transfer stew to a roasting pan. Add potatoes and carrots and stir to combine. Cover and roast for 2-3 hours. Until desired softness of meat. Add celery for last 10 minutes of cook time.
Tip: To reduce the cook time slightly, you can also roast at 400–450°F for 30 minutes, then 350°F for 1 hour, then 300°F or 325°F for last hour until meat is tender.
Sara Waxman, OOnt, is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.