Buffalo Bourguignon Recipe

This recipe was submitted by Sherri F., Hawaii (1/3/12) Note from the chef: I know it may sound complicated, but it really isn't--you just need a few ingredients and some time to slow cook. It is worth the effort and the time. One of the best things that happened to me in 2011 was receiving a gift of bison steaks from my good friend. I love to cook and decided to go to my first authority on cooking--Julia Child--who taught me how to cook when I lived in England in the early 1970's via her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Although she doesn't have any bison recipes, I adapted her Boeuf Bourguignon--Beef stew in red wine with bacon, onions and mushrooms--recipe into one that is a keeper!

3 lbs. lean Buffalo Stew Meat
6 oz. chunk of bacon cut into 1/4 inch thick, 1 1/2 inch long strips
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. flour
3 cups full-bodied young red wine (such as Chianti, Burgundy or Beaujolais)
Beef stock or canned beef bouillion
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
18-24 white pearl onions
1 lb. quartered mushrooms

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Simmer bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 qts. of water. Drain and dry. Saute the bacon in 1 Tbsp. olive oil to brown lightly. Remove bacon to a side dish and reserve the bacon fat in casserole, keeping it hot.

Dry your buffalo cubes on paper towels and saute them a few pieces at a time in the oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add the buffalo meat to the bacon. In the same fat, brown 1 sliced carrot and 1 sliced onion. Spoon off the fat if any remains.

Return the meat and bacon to the casserole and toss with pepper and salt. Sprinkle on 2 Tbsp. flour and toss to coat the meat lightly with the flour. Set the casserole uncovered in middle of pre-heated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust). Remove casserole from oven and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in 3 cups of full-bodied young red wine and enough beef stock or canned beef bouillion so that the meat is barely covered.

Add 1 Tbsp. tomato paste, 2 cloves of mashed garlic, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1 bay leaf and bacon. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Cover the casserole and set in lower third of pre-heated oven. Simmer very slowly for 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the meat is cooking, prepare 18-24 small white pearl onions, sauteed in butter and beef stock until tender. Saute 1 lb. of quartered mushrooms in butter and set aside. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the buffalo / bison and bacon to it. Distribute the onions and mushrooms over the meat. Skim off any fat from the sauce and simmer the sauce for a minute or two, skimming as you go. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of bouillion. If too thin, boil it down and reduce. Taste for seasoning.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with potatoes, buttered noodles or rice decorated with parsley.

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