Roast Bison with Port Sauce

I’ve been going through a bit of a flexitarian phase lately, meaning that while I’m in no way a vegetarian or opposed to eating meat, I just haven’t been wanting it as much and have been planning meals around vegetables instead. Fearing I was headed down a dangerous path and could be turned off meat forever, I decided it was time to do something drastic.

So there I was, perusing the meat counter at Whole Foods when I saw they had bison roasts on sale. Perfect! Just like that, I was back in the meat game!

This was seriously simple and extremely delicious. As a rule, bison is leaner than beef (has less fat), and therefore cooks faster. It also has a different taste than beef that may take a bit of getting used to. It tastes gamier, which I describe as an iron-rich flavor.

The port wine sauce and onions are a great compliment to the bison, adding a little sweetness and depth that takes just an extra five minutes.

Here’s the recipe for Roast Bison with Port Sauce:

Roast Bison with Port Sauce – serves 2

1 pound bison roast

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 cup Port

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Season the bison roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat an oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Once hot, add the bison and sear until brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the bison roast from the pan and set aside.

Decrease the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil to the pan and the sliced onions. Cook, stirring often, until slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Return the bison to the pan then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 140°F, about 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and the bison from the pan. Gently tent to hold warm. Note that the bison will continue to cook.

Set the pan with the onions still in it over medium heat. Carefully add the Port and stir to remove the brown fond from the bottom of the pan. Simmer the wine until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

To serve, slice the bison into 1/4-inch thick slices and pour the sauce and onions over the meat.

  • Mel posted: 13 Apr at 12:43 am

    That looks really good. Bison is very hard to get in Australia – would probably use kangaroo instead which is also very lean and has a game-y flavour.

    Have you read Food Matters by Mark Bittman? I really like his philosophy to meat.


  • Hungry Passport posted: 13 Apr at 4:36 pm

    Ooooh! This is so inspiring (I bet Cumberland Sauce would be good with bison, too). Here in LA we have a little bit of heaven called Harmony Foods, and they sell all sorts of wild game and meat that’s well beyond the typical grocery store offerings. I see some wild game in our future…

    Thanks for reminding me how good–and easy–it can be.

    Cheers! Carol

  • CouponWebz posted: 15 Apr at 7:40 pm

    Lovely! After seeing the roast bison image on this post, I want to try the recipe. Too bad the meat shop don’t have any bison’s on sale. Yeah some meats especially those we don’t usually consume taste a bit different (but delicious).

  • Elizabeth Collins posted: 19 Jun at 1:01 am

    Meat that is rich in iron taste yet with less fat and more lean than that of beef could probably really make a vegetarian deviate. And having read how the rich taste can be so appetizing, not to mention its looks, it might even want one to stick to making it a part of the diet.

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