Posts Tagged 'buffalo'

Meat and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce

This is the best spaghetti sauce I have ever made. It is even better than the recipe I inherited from my mother. I combined several recipes, including my mother’s, to make it. What could be bad?  It’s got mushrooms:
meat sauce mushrooms
It’s got ground buffalo:
meat sauce buffalo
It’s got hot Italian chicken sausage
meat sauce sausage
Plus it’s got a bit of crushed red pepper to give it even more zing. And it’s low fat and one recipe makes a lot, so you can freeze it. (Oh, and it freezes well.)

One warning, though. I have made this numerous times. The last time was after I’d gotten rid of my slow cooker in preparation for the move that has not yet happened.  I figured that I could just make it in my giant trusty sauté pan. It was ok, but it lacked the depth and richness of the usual sauce. So you really need a slow cooker for long simmering to make this taste wonderful.

Meat and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (see note)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 chopped green pepper
½ pound button mushrooms, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces hot Italian chicken sausage
1 pound ground buffalo
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and green pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
meat sauce veggies cooking
Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Place vegetable mixture in a 6-quart slow cooker.
meat sauce veggies crockpot
Crumble sausage and buffalo into skillet; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble further. Remove meat mixture from skillet using a slotted spoon. Add meat mixture to slow cooker. Stir next 9 ingredients (through basil) into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Makes 9 servings at about 4.6 grams of fat/serving. Break out the pasta and enjoy.
meat sauce
NOTE: I chop the onion, carrot, and green pepper in the food processor so they’ll blend into the sauce.

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Slow-Cooker Shiitake-Buffalo Stew

In the bottom of my pantry I have one and a half huge Costco bags of dried shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake, native to Korea, China and Japan, have been grown in all three countries since prehistoric times. They have been cultivated for over 1,000 years. They were believed to be medicinal, a remedy for upper respiratory diseases, poor blood circulation, liver trouble, exhaustion and weakness. Dried shiitake must be rehydrated by soaking in water before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh, considering that the sun-drying process brings out the umami flavor from the dried mushrooms.

History aside, I find shiitake mushrooms to be quite versatile, throwing a handful into various dishes to increase their “meatiness” without increasing fat. They have a nice, chewy texture and flavor that adds substance to a dish.  But one and a half very big bags is simply too much! I need to reduce their bulk by using a large number at once. And that’s when I discovered recipes on the back of the bags.

Beside switching from beef to buffalo to lower fat, I varied the recipe a bit to match up with things I had in the house. It was too snowy to go out to get new ingredients. So for the new potatoes, I used a pound of cut up regular potatoes, and for the recommended canned whole tomatoes I used diced, because that is what I had in the pantry.

This recipe is super easy – everything goes in the slow cooker and then you come home to a great dinner.

The flour in the recipe means you have a good, thick gravy at the end. It also reheated well, with a little water added, so it made good leftovers the next day. It was a perfect winter dish when the temperatures were hovering in the 20’s and I wanted something warm and filling.

Slow-Cooker Shiitake-Buffalo Stew

3 cups dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms
12 new potatoes cut into quarters, or 1 lb. regular potatoes cut in 2 inch chunks
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
8 oz baby carrots
14½  oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained
14½ oz can beef broth
½ cup flour
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 lb buffalo, cut in 2 inch cubes (I used buffalo chuck roast, but any roast would do)

In a medium bowl, cover the shiitake mushroom with water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Drain shiitake mushrooms. Combine mushrooms and all ingredients except buffalo in a slow-cooker. Stir a bit to mix the flour in. Add buffalo.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (mine slow-cooker runs hot, so 7 hours was enough). Makes 4 hearty servings at about 2.5 grams of fat/serving.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

This recipe, originally from Cooking Light, was supposed to be a pot roast with turnip greens.  But I became ill in July (the reason for no posts for a while), and the turnip greens grew old and tough.  Besides, the one dish I made with turnip greens made me conclude that I did not really like them.  So I eliminated them from the recipe and made this delicious dish which is more like a stew.  This dish is so hearty that I didn’t even serve it with rice or noodles, although I think it would be good with a brown and wild rice mix. It also froze well for reheating on later chilly fall days.

This is a slow-cooker recipe, so cut your vegetables in reasonably even pieces.  These are the parsnips:

Also, use a decent red wine. This is the red wine I usually use for cooking, unless the recipe calls for something more specific. It is reasonably priced and has a hearty flavor that is good with meats.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (3-pound) boneless buffalo chuck roast, trimmed of all fat (I had to use two smaller roasts)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut parsnips (about 1 pound)
3 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
2 cups cipollini onions, peeled and quartered (my grocery never heard of cipollini onions. I used a bag of frozen pearl onions)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

The vegetables

Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle buffalo evenly with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add buffalo; sauté 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Place parsnips, potatoes, and onions in a slow cooker. Transfer buffalo to slow cooker. Add tomato paste to skillet; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour broth mixture into slow cooker.

Place peppercorns and next 4 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth.

Gather edges of cheesecloth together; secure with twine. Add cheesecloth bundle to slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until buffalo and vegetables are tender. Discard cheesecloth bundle. Remove roast from slow cooker; slice. Serve with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid.  Makes 6 generous servings at about 7 grams of fat/serving.

Courgettes (Zucchini) and Buffalo Curry

I needed something to bring to the office for a surprise “man shower” we were having for a soon-to-be new dad. I wanted to make something from my garden, but it was between the spring veggies (snow peas, etc.,) and the onslaught of zucchini and tomatoes that was surely soon to come.  I managed to pick a handful of baby zucchini and yellow squash and cut them up for this nice curry from my favorite low fat Indian cookbook by Husain and Kanani.

One of the quickest ways to lower the fat in many recipes (besides substituting buffalo for the beef) is to eliminate the fat or oil. If the oil is only being used as a vehicle to soften veggies and is not a critical component of the flavor, you don’t need it.  You can steam fry the veggies. Don’t remember how to steam fry? Spray a large frying pan (or wok in my case) with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add your onions, celery or whatever the recipe calls for. Cook, stirring frequently. As the veggies start to turn golden, add a little water and stir. It will soon evaporate. You can do this several times until the veggies are softened or you reach the shade of golden brown you are looking for.

You lose 14 grams of unneeded fat for each tablespoon of oil you eliminate, and you still get the good flavor of sautéed onions, garlic, and the like.  So in a dish that serves 4, you eliminate 3.5 grams of fat/tablespoon of oil eliminated.

This recipe would have made nice leftovers, but there weren’t any. It is not a particularly incendiary curry, and thus suitable for friends who don’t like “hot” foods.

Courgettes (Zucchini) and Buffalo Curry

Cooking spray
2 medium onions, chopped
8 oz buffalo, trimmed and cut into small strips
½ cup non-fat yogurt (I used Greek, but regular is ok)
1 teaspoon garam masala (see NOTE)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 zucchini, sliced
1 Tablespoon cilantro to garnish

Either broil the zucchini slices in a preheated broiler for 3 minutes, turning once, or cook them in a frying pan or griddle pan coated with cooking spray until they are lightly browned (this is what I did).  Set aside.

Steam fry onion until golden brown. Add buffalo and stir fry for 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, ginger, and ground coriander. Pour yogurt mixture over the buffalo and stir fry for 2 minutes. Cook over medium to low heat for 12-15 minutes.

Check to see that the buffalo is cooked and the sauce is quite thick.  Then gently add zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.  I served it with couscous for convenience, but I think it would be better with rice. Makes 4 servings at about 2 grams of fat/serving.

NOTE: Garam masala is a Hindi term meaning hot (garam) spice (masala). The word garam refers to intensity of the spices;  masala is pungent, but not hot in the same way as a chili pepper. The actual mixture of spices used in garam masala differs regionally, and even from family to family, with a wide variety across India. You can buy an acceptable bottle garam masala from a number of companies, or you can find a recipe in an Indian cookbook and make your own.

Dried Cherry Chili

Sometimes I think that winter dishes should be called “things in bowls”.  That is because we have been having weather that makes the outdoors look like this


And this:


Now I admit (somewhat grudgingly) that it is all quite beautiful, especially when the sun shines on the snow. But when it is combined with temperatures well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it quickly loses its charm.  Time to take out the soup pot and make things in bowls and keep the kitchen and my tummy warm.

 

This recipe, which came from the Cherry Marketing Institute, originally was made with ground turkey. But I am not fond of chili with ground turkey – the regular ground turkey is not that low in fat, and I think that ground turkey breast does not have a good texture in dishes like chili. But this chili is great with ground buffalo. I don’t use store bought packages of ground buffalo. It is somewhat higher in fat than buffalo meat from a roast or some such, because I expect they use fattier cuts of meat. If you made this recipe with packaged ground buffalo, it would probably be closer to 12 grams of fat/serving, which isn’t that bad, but not as low as I like. I grind my own meat from buffalo roasts. I usually grind large amounts using the electric grinder attached to my mixer, but this time I wanted to grind only the pound I needed for the chili. So I used my food processor. Trim the buffalo of all fat and cut into about 2 inch pieces. Place in food processor and pulse several times until meat is ground to the texture that you want. Don’t overprocess – you’re looking for ground meat, not pate.

When I saw cherries and chili, I wondered how it would work out. I’m not sure I want sweet chili. But this chili is actually a nice, rich, somewhat spicy chili. The cherries are just a burst of tart-sweet flavor every now and then. It has beans, but not too many – and they’re black beans, which are a little different.

Dried Cherry Chili

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

4 ounces dried tart cherries, chopped (¾ cup)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped garlic

2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno

1 pound ground buffalo

1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, chili powder

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried mustard

½ teaspoon dried oregano

4 cups chopped fire-roasted tomatoes  (2 15 ounce cans will work)

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained

¼ cup chopped cilantro

 

Heat 1 cup of broth. Place cherries in small bowl. Add hot broth and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; cook 1 minute. Do not brown. Add buffalo; cook until it is no longer pink.
Add bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, mustard and oregano. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes. NOTE: I used bottled roasted red peppers to save time.

Stir in beans, cilantro and cherry mixture. Continue cooking until thoroughly heated. Makes 8 servings at 5 grams of fat/serving.

I added 1 ounce of reduced fat cheese and homemade corn chips, adding 7 grams of fat to the overall meal.

Spicy Buffalo Macaroni Stir Fry

It’s Buffalo Week!  Oh boy!  I’ve already cooked, boxed, and frozen 14 (yes 14) boxes of buffalo pot roast with lots of onions and mushrooms.

buffalo packages

It’s definitely time to stock up. The grocery only has buffalo every six weeks, and from now until the Super Bowl, there won’t be any buffalo at all. The butcher will be featuring turkey and other holiday fare. So I bought lot of roasts for winter cooking, and while I was flinging buffalo haunches into the cart, I tossed in a small package of buffalo stew meat.

I mentioned in the previous post that I had quite a bit of leftover spicy dipping sauce from the noodle rolls. Not wanting to waste it, I made a spicy buffalo stir fry.  This is more of an improvisation than a recipe.  Feel free to add veggies as you wish.

Spicy Buffalo Macaroni Stir Fry

1 lb buffalo, trimmed of all fat and cubed
1 medium onion, halved and sliced vertically
10 large mushrooms (white or cremini), sliced
¼ cup leftover spicy dipping sauce
about 1 cup hot water
4 ounces of macaroni
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a large wok or frying pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium high heat. Add buffalo and brown, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ cup of the water and stir, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan (this makes a gravy.) Add remaining water, onions, and mushrooms. Add dipping sauce. Cover and cook until buffalo is tender, stirring occasionally. While the buffalo is cooking, cook macaroni. Add cooked macaroni to buffalo and stir. Adjust seasoning if necessary.  This makes 4 servings at about 6 grams of fat/serving.  I was really hungry and ate 2 servings.

buffalo stir fry

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.


ABOUT KAREN

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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