The primary reason I rush out to buy buffalo is to make buffalo pot roast. There is something about buffalo roast – a sweetness or a richness, that makes a really fine pot roast. Now I confess that I don’t make an elaborate pot roast with browning and simmered vegetables and the like the way my daughter does. She makes the true, old-fashioned pot roast. I’m sure that you could make buffalo with that recipe, too. And it would taste very good, indeed.
I, however, make the working woman’s quick, easy, and delicious pot roast – you know, the one with onion soup. And everyone raves about it thinking that I have worked my little fingers to the bone preparing this rich and lovely dish. I made it last year to feed the assembled multitudes at Passover, which led to a heated discussion of whether buffalo was kosher (although none of us actually keep kosher). I referred them to the Kosher Buffalo site, and verily the rules of kashrut (that’s the rules of what makes something acceptably kosher) state that if the beast has cloven hooves and chews the cud, it is acceptable. Buffalo hooves are cloveneth and the big beasts cheweth, so they’re ok.
Anyway, I made 9 pounds of buffalo pot roast this time. This recipe makes less, but you can double it or even more if you’ve got a big enough pot. Plan to make this ahead of when you want to eat this.
Buffalo Pot Roast
about 4 lbs buffalo roast, visible fat removed (preferably some kind of round or rump roast)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 package beefy onion or other onion soup mix
about 1/2 pound of button mushrooms, sliced (optional, but why would you want to leave them out)
Place the chopped onion in the bottom of a large pot, such as a Dutch oven. Place the buffalo roast(s) in the pot on top of the onions. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over and around the roasts. Put the mushrooms on top of the whole thing. Add water half way up the sides of the buffalo roast. Add Kitchen Bouquet to the liquid until it is the color that you want it to be.
- *If you’ve never used Kitchen Bouquet, it is a browning and seasoning sauce containing caramel, and a vegetable base of carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, turnips, salt, parsley, and spices, and is commonly available in supermarkets. It is a true friend of the sometimes lazy cook.
Bring the pot roast to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours, turning the roast occasionally, and making sure that the mushrooms are immersed in the liquid. You read correctly – you haven’t browned the meat or sautéed the onions first. You don’t need to. When the pot roast is done, remove it from the liquid and wrap separately. Remove the onion and mushroom solids, which have cooked down to a glorious soft mass, and store them in a separate container. Pour the liquid into a separate container. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight – or even for two days as I did because I was busy. Remove the fat – there won’t be much – from the surface of the liquid before reheating.
To serve, slice the meat thickly and reheat in the liquid with the reserved vegetables for about 20 minutes. A serving of 6 ounces of meat and gravy has about 4 grams of fat.
Variations: You can cook carrots with this, although they cook down so they’re not really distinct. I often add vegetables, such as green beans, when I’m reheating the pot roast. You can thicken the gravy when reheating it by adding 2 teaspoons of cornstarch mixed into a tablespoon of cold water and stirred into the gravy. Cook until the gravy thickens and is clear.
Usually, I serve the pot roast over noodles or rice or even couscous, but I was too lazy to do that, so I made and open face pot roast sandwich on some nice whole wheat bread.
But one of the real reasons that I make buffalo pot roast is that it freezes and reheats so well. It is one of my favorite “I’m too tired to think after work” dishes. Put it in the microwave, add a couple of frozen vegetables if you’d like, and it’s dinner. And here is yet another principle. Have low fat, satisfying things to eat for dinner when you’re tired so that you don’t make dinner out of crackers and cheese (me? Never would I do such a thing.)
Pot roast ready for the freezer in 6 ounce servings, with gravy and solids added.