I’m the queen of grabbing random cuts of high quality meat when they go on sale, and stashing the meat in the deep freeze until I figure out what to do with it. My local grocery keeps organic bison in stock, but it doesn’t get marked down all that often. I was quite excited to nab two packages of bison stew meat, but I just didn’t know what to do with them. I love cooking bison, as it’s full of flavor, and much healthier than beef. Admittedly I’ve never cooked bison stew meat before! I suppose that like beef stew meat, it shines best when cooked slow & low. I never found any recipes specifically for bison stew meat that appealed enough to me, so I searched for beef stew meat recipes and found one for carnitas. We love tacos, so I hoped this would be good!

I did a few adaptions to the original recipe, and cooked this in my Le Crueset dutch oven. The meat turned out SO flavorful and juicy. Paired with a tasty margarita and combined with fresh taco toppings, this was quite the special meal! For toppings I did a fresh tomato/onion/avocado salsa, quick pickled red onion, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro. I’m including the salsa recipe and you can find the quick pickled red onion recipe here.


Bison Carnitas

Yield: 6 servings


1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds bison stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 large unpeeled orange wedge

2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 2 medium)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

corn tortillas
quick pickled onion
1 lime cut into 8 pieces
cotija cheese


CARNITAS: Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bison; sauté 5 minutes or until meat is browned on all sides. Stir in broth, sugar, salt & pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and paprika; nestle orange section into bison mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 ½ hours or until bison is tender. Remove and discard orange. Continue simmering, uncovered, 8 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Shred meat.

SALSA: Combine tomato, onion, avocado, 2 Tbsp cilantro, 1 Tbsp lime juice, salt & pepper in a medium bowl; toss well.

TACOS ASSEMBLY: Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/4 cup Bison Carnitas onto each tortilla; top each with pickled onion slices and about 3 tablespoons avocado salsa mixture. Fold in half; sprinkle with cotija cheese and fresh cilantro, serve with lime wedges.

Carnitas and Salsa recipes via Cooking Light

Supposedly this recipe yields 6 servings. However I got closer to 8. I even froze half of it after cooking by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and putting it in a ziplock freezer bag.