Lemongrass Braised Bison Osso Buco, an Asian-American-inspired play on the Italian classic, where hearty bison is slow-cooked to tender perfection. This healthy, flavorful dish is a comforting, mouthwatering tribute to the original.
A twist on the beloved Italian dish, our Lemongrass Braised Bison Osso Buco celebrates the amazing flavor and texture of a somewhat overlooked meat: bison.
Bison, or buffalo, is a magnificent (and as it happens, delicious) creature that holds a significant place in American history, having sustained Native American populations for centuries before becoming a symbol of the wild, untamed beauty of the Great Plains. Today, bison meat is gaining recognition in culinary circles, not just for its flavor, but also for its health benefits.
Compared to beef, bison meat has fewer calories, less fat, and lower cholesterol, while being rich in protein, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a heart-healthy choice for meat lovers, providing a guilt(ish)-free indulgence that’s as nutritious as it is delicious.
Cooking bison, especially cuts like the shank used in our Bison Osso Buco, requires patience. This cut, rich in connective tissues, becomes incredibly tender and flavorful when braised slowly. As the bison cooks, it absorbs the unique combination of eastern-inspired flavors in our recipe, like Madeira, tamari, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. The result? A fall-apart tender, succulent meat that’s steeped in a broth bursting with complexity.
The key to a successful Bison Osso Buco lies in embracing the slow-cooking process. This method not only tenderizes the meat but also allows it to fully soak up the surrounding flavors. Each bite explodes in a taste of the American Plains, coupled with a culinary nod to Italian and Eastern cuisines. The experience is as delightful as it is unexpected.
Begin by patting dry the bison shanks. Season them generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. This will help to build a flavorful crust during the searing process.
Heat a cast iron Dutch oven (preferably enamel coated) over medium-high heat. This kind of pot is ideal for maintaining consistent heat during the slow-cooking process.
Add enough vegetable oil to just coat the bottom of the pot. It’s important to avoid using too much oil as this could result in an overly greasy dish.
Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned bison shanks to the pot. Allow the meat to sear undisturbed until it achieves a deep golden-brown color. This step is crucial for developing a rich, meaty flavor in the final dish.
Flip the bison over to sear the other side, achieving the same golden-brown color.
After browning, remove the bison from the pot and set it aside on a plate. This will make room for the aromatics to cook.
Add the green onions, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger to the hot oil left in the pot. Stir the aromatics until they just begin to brown, releasing their enticing fragrances.
Pour in the Madeira, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar, followed by the star anise and water. These ingredients will deglaze the pot, lifting up all the delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom.
Return the bison to the pot, immersing it in the flavorful liquid.
Bring the pot to a simmer. Once simmering, lower the heat to your stove top’s lowest setting and allow it to cook for 3 hours.
After cooking, carefully remove the bison from the pot. Check for and remove any silverskin present on the bison. This step ensures that every bite of the meat is as tender as possible.
For added convenience, you could also transfer the bison to a crock pot to finish cooking.
Transfer the bison to a heatproof dish, cover it with aluminum foil, and keep it warm in the oven. This will allow the meat to rest and stay warm while you prepare the sauce.
Place the pot with the remaining liquid back on the stove over medium heat. Let it cook until the liquid reduces by half. This will concentrate the flavors and create a rich, velvety sauce.
Pour the reduced liquid over the resting bison.
Serve the Bison Osso Buco hot, preferably with a side of mashed potatoes. Garnish with green onions for a burst of color and freshness, perfectly complementing the rich, hearty flavors of the bison.Print
Michelle was born with a fork in her hand. As a culinary travel writer and confirmed foodophile she delights in the world-wide discovery of new flavor profiles, spices, salts and herbs. Based in one of the world's foodie meccas; Portland, Oregon, not far from "Pinot Noir Heaven" Michelle shares culinary travel and chef's recipes. Her photography has appeared in Saveur Magazine and she has contributed culinary travel articles to Forbes online, WSJ online, Business Insider, Condé Nast Digital Media, Islands magazine and many others. A confirmed globetrotter, she still keeps her bags packed and fork in hand (well . . . except through airport security.)