Braised Buffalo with Brandy and Mustard

This is a substantial dish, with a taste somewhat reminiscent of sauerbraten. The sun-dried tomatoes and two kinds of mustard give this pot roast like dish a rich flavor. The juniper berries provide a sharp, somewhat citrusy accent.   A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. Juniper berries are used in northern European and particularly Scandinavian cuisine to flavor meats and wild birds. Juniper berries also give gin its distinguishing flavor.

Juniper Berries on the branch

Juniper Berries on the branch

Braised Buffalo with Brandy and Mustard

1 teaspoon olive oil
1¼  pounds of buffalo bottom round steak (or chuck, tip or other cut that responds well to long cooking), trimmed of all fat and any gristle and cut into 1 inch slices
½ cup brandy
2 cups reduced fat beef stock or broth
2 Tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 sun-dried tomatoes, not oil pack, cut into slivers
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
6 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
¼ cup brown sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or deep oven-proof skillet.  Add meat and brown on all sides. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside. Drain off any fat in pan. Return pan to the heat and immediately add brandy, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the brandy is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Stir in the stock, mustards, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, juniper berries, bay leaf, and brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Return the meat to the pan, cover tightly, and place in oven.  Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, for 1½ hours, or until very tender. Remove the bay leaf and juniper berries, and season the sauce with pepper.  This makes 4 servings with about 6 grams of fat/serving.

Braised Buffalo with Brandy
Why is something so delicious so homely when photographed?  Those are plantains on the side.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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