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December 08, 2016


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Jill & Julia’s Bison Bourguignon

I have made a couple of variations of this amazingly delicious, classic dish, but after reading Julia & Julia a few years back, I had to check out Julia Child's recipe in, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. My modifications to Julia’s recipe were based on using 100% grass-fed bison, my personal taste, and the steps I thought unnecessary. Specific changes made; I omitted the bacon, as I feel the smokiness overwhelms the dish and added butter for additional flavor and fat. I also used homemade buffalo broth, but in a pinch have used organic beef or chicken broth/stock, and added celery and brandy. Although a bit more extensive, I thought it was worth the extra steps. *HoweverI have noted in the recipe one-pot shortcuts. Recipe can be made ahead and reheated for entertaining convenience! Fabulous!

Buffalo Bourguignon 

Ingredients for Bourguignon: (Serves 6 to 8)
2 - pounds Wild Idea Buffalo Stew Meat
1 - teaspoon black pepper
1 - teaspoon salt
3 - tablespoon olive oil
1 - tablespoon unsalted butter
1 - carrot, quartered
1 - onion, quartered
1 - celery stalk, quartered
1 - ounce brandy
4 - cups red wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Chianti)
1 - cup buffalo broth, or organic beef or chicken broth
1 - teaspoon thyme
1 - teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 - teaspoon basil leaves
2 - bay leaves
3 - cloves garlic, minced
1 - tablespoon tomato paste
1 - tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch, or more per your thickness preference
¼ - cup sherry
¼ - cup parsley, chopped fine

Ingredients for Mushrooms & Onions:
18 - Small White Onions
1 ½ - tablespoons each Butter & Olive Oil
¼ - cup buffalo or other stock
¼ - cup red wine
4 - parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf, ½ tsp. thyme
1 - pound mushrooms, quartered
2 - tablespoon butter
1 - tablespoon olive oil

For Bison Bourguignon:

  • Pre-heat oven to 325*.
  • Rinse bison meat and pat dry, removing all dampness with paper towels. Season meat with salt and pepper.
  • In a heavy stockpot, over medium heat add one tablespoon of the olive oil.
  • Increase heat to medium high and brown the meat in 3 to 4 batches. Do not hurry to turn, allow the meat to brown. This was tedious, but worth it. Add additional olive oil before each batch as needed.
  • Remove the last batch of meat from the pan and drain any oil left in the pan. Add the butter, and the quartered vegetables and sauté vegetables for 4 minutes.
  • Add the brandy to stockpot and carefully tilt to flame. Or, cover the pot for a minute if you do not want the brandy to flame.
  • Return browned meat to stockpot, and add 3 cups red wine, stock, herbs, garlic, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer. Cover and place in pre-heated oven.
  • Braise bison for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
  • Remove stockpot from oven and discard vegetables. Return meat with juices to the stovetop over medium high heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Mix the remaining cup of red wine with the thickening ingredient and whisk until smooth.
  • Slowly stir into the Bourguignon. Adjust thickness as desired.
  • Season sauce to taste and stir in the sherry right before serving.


For Onions – Prepare while Bourguignon is in the oven:
*For Shortcut: Add the onions and mushrooms directly to the stockpot in step 5 and omit the quartered onion. Do not discard the onions & mushrooms when discarding other quartered vegetables in step 9.

  • In an oven proof sauté pan over medium heat, add butter and oil, and let come to a bubble.
  • Add onions, tossing to brown evenly. 
  • Add the stock, wine and herbs and bring to a simmer.
  • Transfer the sauté pan with the onions to the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until liquids have evaporated.
  • Remove from oven and set aside until ready to serve. Reheat if needed. *Or for shortcut add to the Bourguignon after cooking.

For Mushrooms:

  • In saucepan over medium heat, add butter and oil, and let come to a bubble.
  • Add quartered mushrooms. Toss the pan, browning the mushrooms on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Reheat with onions if needed before serving. *Or for shortcut add to the Bourguignon after browning.

To assemble: Plate the prepared pasta, potatoes, or rice and ladle on the Bourguignon, then place the onions & mushrooms on top and sprinkled with parsley. Julia recommends accompanying with Minted, Buttered Peas, but most often I serve a nice green salad, before or after the Bourguignon.  


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