Bison Stew

bison beef stew, Lake Superior kitchen, Duluth food

Sometimes I think I talk about the weather too much.  It’s not that I have no other go-to conversation starters, it’s just…I live in Duluth!  We have to talk about it, commiserate, celebrate, contemplate it, or it just gets to be too much!  This past week was a big one.  I vividly remember sitting in shorts on the back porch last Saturday.  Much of this past week has been gray, rain, and frigid.  But I will not be downhearted!  I’m a Duluthian after all and I live for this stuff.  You just have to dress right and do the right activities.  For example, we watched the Rescuers Down Under one evening with our kiddos. On VHS, mind you.  And tonight, we will be having bison stew.

    I didn’t know there was a difference between stew and soup until recently.  Stew is richly flavorful, thick, and hearty.  You can eat it soup-style or over mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice.  It is so warming you won’t even notice that it isn’t quite Spring outside.

    I used Bent Paddle’s Cold Press Black in this stew, and, oh my goodness, it smelled amazing while it was cooking.  You could use another dark beer, but the coffee flavor notes would be missing and why not buy local?

    This stew is delicious.  I’m eating it now because I have to work tonight, but I’m anticipating rave reviews from the fam in the morning.

Bison Stew

1 hour & 20 min, serves 6


1/4 c tapioca starch (or flour)

1/2 t pepper

1 lb bison stew meat

2 T olive oil

2 shallots, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 yellow potatoes

2 carrots, chopped small

3 1/2 c beef broth

1 can Bent Paddle Cold Press Black (you can sub 2 c broth, if desired)

1 T tomato paste

1/4 t dried thyme

1 t salt

2 T coconut sugar


  1. In medium bowl, mix tapioca starch and pepper.
  2. Add bison to bowl and coat with flour mixture.
  3. Heat olive oil in nonstick pot.
  4. Add coated bison and brown the outside for about 3 min, stirring occasionally
  5. Remove the bison and set aside.
  6. Add shallots and garlic to the pan and brown for 1 min
  7. Add 1 c stock, bring to simmer (should happen right away), and scrape the bottom of the pan for about 1 min to release some of the brown bits.
  8. Add the rest of the stock, the bison meat, potatoes, and carrots.
  9. Pour in the can of beer.
  10. Bring it all to a simmer.
  11. Add the tomato paste, thyme, coconut sugar, and salt, and stir to incorporate.
  12. Let simmer uncovered for a 40 min, stirring occasionally
  13. Cover, leaving a small crack open, and let simmer for another 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally