Thursday, March 10, 2011

Buffalo Hump Roast

I've been trying to get this recipe posted for a week.  It kept turning into a buffalo post...but I think I've finally wrangled a completion.

Our southern Texas Hill Country suffered a spell of worse-than-the-last-50-years cold this winter.  So I did a little more than the usual hearty-warmth cooking. And I'm sharing one of our favorites now, before winter is only a memory.

You might not have buffalo grazing in your neighborhood, but you could substitute venison or beef.

Denny and I are lucky, Thunder Heart Bison  sells at the Farmer's Market in New Braunfels, my favorite Saturday morning field trip.  Thunder Heart buffalo are raised on a ranch in the grasslands region south of San Antonio.  Free-range, without grain finish, which means optimal health for the animals and the consumers.  And the ranch is certified AWA (Animal Welfare Approved).

Thunder Heart is available in a number of area markets and restaurantsIf you're not fortunate enough to live in Texas, you can buy online, click here. 

Folks who know like buffalo for the rich flavor.  And it not only tastes good, it's good for you--high quality protein, low fat. According to USDA analysis, a serving of 100 grams (~ 3.5 oz.) of buffalo roast has approximately one-quarter the fat of lean chicken. (Click here to see for yourself).

Buffalo Hump Roast
~3 lb buffalo hump roast (yes, it's the meat from the hump, hardworking muscles that move the bison's head)--You can substitute venison or beef pot roast, adjusting cooking time.
1-2 tblsp oil
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
dried rosemary and thyme
kosher salt
fresh-ground pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Wash and dry roast and cut off any fat pads or silverskin.

Throw some flour in a pan large enough to dredge the roast.  Be generous--you'll end up throwing some away but flour is cheap.  Add goodly pinches of kosher salt, dried rosemary and thyme and grinds of pepper.  Mix well.

Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat.  I use an enameled cast iron pot because the heat spreads evenly up the walls.

Dredge roast in the flour mixture until well coated.  Shake off excess and add roast to pot after oil is hot.  Turn when crusty brown.  When both sides are browned, add wine and water and scrape bottom of pot to get up browned bits.  Add onions and garlic.  Stir to mix all.

Cover and turn heat to low.  Simmer until tender (approx. 4 hours for buffalo, about 2 for a beef pot roast), checking and stirring once an hour or so. Add a small pinch of salt if needed. When you can easily cut the meat, remove the meat from the pan.

Stir up bits from bottom, taste sauce to adjust seasonings.  I'll warn you that you'll want to lick the spoon more than once as the full-bodied flavor soothes your psyche and the subtle piney-minty tones of thyme and rosemary tickle the edges of your taste.

Slice  and serve the meat in a spoonful of sauce with a side of whatever vegetables you love.  For Denny, I roast a mixed pan of potatoes, carrots and onions, and a separate pan of roasted broccoli.  To take the meal to heaven, I add a piece of warm rosemary sourdough bread to sop the juices. Yes, my husband loves me...

Sometimes I take the leftovers, cut everything up (except the broccoli and bread) and combine it into a stew.  Denny thinks that's even better since he gets meat, sauce and delicious, caramelized, creamy potatoes and sweet carrots and onions in every bite.  Guess that makes it a roasted stew and you now have two recipes from one post.

Enjoy with loved ones.

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. I have tasted the result and declare "fit for human consumption."

  2. The way you write this recipe is almost as heartwarming as the meat and stew must taste. It seems to be a week for cooking related posts. Thanks for this one.
    x0 N2

  3. Exciting. The more I read the more hungry I get. Especially the last paragraph.

  4. Wow. . . this is something that I will prolly never get to taste, but it sounds awesome!

  5. Thanks for the idea. I represent a Bison rancher here in Missouri and I've got a tenderloin in my freezer at the moment.

    The problem I've had in the past is keeping the meat moist. At each new cooking, I turn the heat farther down and pray I've found the "sweet spot."

    Anyway, I'm going to give this recipe a try with half the tenderloin roast.


  6. It's very hard to believe that such an animal still exists. They seem so black and white if you get what I mean. So the idea of eating one leans in my mind towards eating a unicorn.

  7. Hmmmm--I'm not sure about this one!

  8. I think I saw Buffalo once at Publix here....terribly expensive. One day I'll have to try it.


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