My partner in culinary crime stopped at a local buffalo (bison) farm early last week to lay in a supply of one of my favorite grassfed meats. We sampled a couple of the tenderloin steaks that very evening, but saved a lovely 2.5 pound buffalo chuck roast to have some fun with Saturday night. Our slow cooker recipe for buffalo chuck roast was inspired by friends Carolyn and Bryan Welch. They served us an awesome supper way back in July of 2009 that included generous helpings of delicious, stringy, tender, beef barbeque fresh from the slow cooker. That the meat in question was pure, clean, grassfed Kansas beef, raised right on the Welch's farm added greatly to the experience. My adoration of pure, clean, grassfed meat really hit home a few weeks ago when I ordered a steak at a restaraunt and was inadvertantly forced to eat feedlot meat. In all honesty, I actually had trouble gagging the gorgeous-looking steak down -- but gag it down I did because I believe it's immoral to waste meat.
My slow cooker recipe for barbeque buffalo, as inspired by friends Carolyn and Bryan, and delivered via by my partner in culinary crime goes something like this.
1. Defrost a magnificent piece of grassfed buffalo chuck or pot roast.
2. Whip up a batch of your favorite barbeque sauce. My recipe, she calls it Will's Big-10 Barbeque Sauce, goes something like this:
Place 2 tablespoons of safflower oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan, add 1 finely chopped onion (I chopped it super fine) and 3 minced garlic cloves to the oil and set the works on the flame -- medium heat is probably enough. Stir often.
Using a glass bowl, mix 2 cups organic apple cider vinegar (she'd reduce this to 1.5 cups and add .5 cup of water, but I love vinegar sauces so ...), 1 can of tomato paste, ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup light brown sugar, ¼ cup regular molasses, 1 tablespoon chili powder (I used Rancho Gordo New Mexican Red because it is very yummy) and ½ teaspoon of cayenne (I could have gone hotter, but I didn't need to eat the entire thing myself).
Use a wisk to mix all the ingredients -- be sure that the tomato paste is completely dispersed.
3. By the time all the fussing around is finished, the onions and garlic will be nice and soft and clear. Now add the contents of the mixing bowl to the sauce pan and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to suit you.
4. Place the buffalo chuck roast into the slow cooker, carefully pour the homemade barbeque sauce over the meat (be bold, use the entire batch of homemade barbeque sauce), cover the slow cooker and turn to high for several hours, then turn to low for several more hours.
5. We called the slow cooker barbeque buffalo chuck roast finished when we came in from our evening chores -- after about 7 total hours of cooking. You will know the buffalo chuck roast is ready when you can lift the bone cleanly out of the slow cooker and separate the beautiful meat (that's left behind) into sumptious strings with a fork.
We used this slow cooker recipe for barbeque buffalo to create the main course -- lemon-zest Yukon Gold potatos grilled on real charcoal, a spinach salad with homemade vinigrette and Girlscout Cookies (I know, I know -- its a not wasting food thing) rounded out the fare.
Author Photo: Courtesy Karen Keb
Barbeque: iStockphoto.com/Craig Uglinica
American Bison: iStockphoto.com/R Sherwood Veith
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.