I rarely post recipes containing meat, but I couldn't resist posting a blog about
the annual National Western Stock Show held in Denver, Colorado every January. The stock show is a time for ranchers from across the West to come together to show, sell, and buy livestock, horses, and non-traditional stock such as llamas, angora rabbits, and yaks. My favorite find this year was a prize-winning Icelandic sheep -- it was about the size of a small dog with a face the size of a cat!
Rather than just attend a rodeo, or the draft horse expedition, my boyfriend and I decided to check out the stockyard and various competitions, including the 4-H heifer competition, and the wool show. In the process, we happened to stumble across a livestock auct
ion featuring yearling and two-year-old bison. I had the surprising pleasure of sitting next to Sue Carter from the National Bison Association
. Ms. Carter was featured, along with her husband Dave Carter, in the 5280 magazine of July 2007 in a food story about bison products. Inspired my chat with Ms. Carter, I decided to make a faux cassoulet, a french peasant stew featuring white beans and meat, usually cooked for several days, but truncated in
to a 1/2 hour cooking time for my purposes.
- 3 buffalo bratwurst (I bought mine from Whole Foods)
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 6 chopped cremini mushrooms
- 2 cans of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 1/2 c of chicken stock
- 1/2 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Step one: Remove the sausage casing and brown buffalo bratwurst in a stockpot with about 2 tbsp vegetable oil (buffalo meat is very lean and it is important to add a little fat for cooking).
Step Two: Once meat is cooked, add garlic, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery. Continue cooking over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add beans and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add parsley at end of simmering cycle. Serve piping hot and enjoy!
A note about my faux cassoulet: This dish should be thick and stew-like rather than soupy. However, you can add more stock if you feel the need. I also add a plug of olive oil to each bowl prior to serving it so that the beans have a little more fat to work with.
Labels: bison, buffalo, cassoulet, french, soup, stew