Tacos, Tacos, Tacos. I could eat them everyday of my life. I’m from Texas and we love our tacos so, the fact that I could go every single day eating some form of a taco is not a surprise. Al pastor, brisket, ground beef Tex-Mex, bean and cheese… it doesn’t matter just put a few on my plate. I make some pretty mean beer braised carnitas, a recipe I’ve been meaning to share with you, and it occurred to me the other day while I was watching my daughter dive into a bison hamburger, why not take my carnitas recipe and do the same with a bison roast! Bison is a fabulous lean and healthy meat just like venison but with the taste of grass-fed beef. Glad I took the chance because these are some of the best tacos I have ever had, if I do say so myself – it’s my blog and I can toot my own sock monkey horn.
I opted for a stout beer that was brewed with coffee to braise the bison. The slightly sweet coffee and chocolate notes slow braised with bison provided an excellent pairing and helped tenderize the meat to the point of falling apart. The lean bison became incredibly tasty, tender, but still had a nice bite to it that stood up to the creaminess of the butternut squash. Yes, butternut squash! You know me and my love for butternut squash recipes. So, it wasn’t too far of a jump from Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas to add butternut squash as a condiment here.
Warm corn tortillas, savory tender bison, sweet caramelized butternut squash, fresh cilantro, tangy pickled onions, and creamy queso fresco is a combination of flavors that will rock your taco loving taste buds! Here’s the best part… it’s pretty simple (all the work is just waiting for it to cook) and can be made in advance. All of that and you have yourself a stunning perfect taco storm.
how it’s done…
Preheat oven to 300°F. Season a bison chuck roast (or beef if you prefer) with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven or large braising pot heat oil over high, brown your roast. Once browned on all sides pour in a bottle of stout, preferably a breakfast stout. I used Founders Breakfast Stout brewed with an abundance oats, bitter chocolates, and coffee — perfect pairing for red meat and this long braise that’s about to happen. Add water, cover, and place in the oven. Braise for 5 hours until fork tender.
Once finished, shred with a fork and return the meat to the cooking juices. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the cooking juices have reduced by half. This is just awesomeness in a pot, people.
Forty minutes prior to serving, peel and dice a small butternut squash. Toss with oil and roast in a 425° oven for 30 minutes or until tender.
Once the butternut squash is roasted warm your tortillas and assemble your taco; bison, butternut squash, pickled onions, cilantro, and queso fresco crumbles. Heaven on a plate, I tell you! Give it a whirl and tell me how you liked it. The verdict from my crew, a definite hit. So much so that I’m being forced to make it for our SuperBowl party. Cheers!
Warm corn tortillas, savory tender beer braised bison, sweet caramelized butternut squash, fresh cilantro, tangy pickled onions, and creamy queso fresco is a combination of flavors that will rock your taco loving taste buds! Here's the best part... it's pretty simple (all the work is just waiting for it to cook) and can be made in advance. All of that and you have yourself a stunning perfect taco storm.
- 3 to 4 pound bison chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
- 12 ounces breakfast or coffee stout
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 small (1-2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and small diced
- Corn tortillas
- Cooking oil spray
- Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Queso fresco (fresh Mexican farmers cheese)
- Pickled onions*
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Season a bison chuck roast (or beef if you prefer) with salt and pepper. Heat oil over high heat in a dutch oven or large braising pot. Add bison and sear each side for 5 minutes or until browned. Once browned on all sides pour in the stout and water. Cover and place in the oven. Braise for 5 hours, turning the meat once; braise until fork tender. This can be done up to two days in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and reheated if serving for a party.
- Once finished, shred the braised bison with a fork and return the meat to the cooking juices. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the cooking juices have reduced by half.
- Forty minutes prior to serving, roast the butternut squash. Toss the diced squash with 1/2 tablespoon of canola or grapeseed oil and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast in a 425° oven for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
- To Assemble: Warm the tortillas by lightly spraying each one with cooking oil spray and placing on a skillet or comal over medium heat, flip to warm both sides. Place tortillas on a plate and top with a spoonful of braised bison and roasted butternut squash. Garnish with pickled onions, cilantro and crumbles queso fresco.
by Meredith Steele
*To Quick Pickle Onions: Combine 1 cup red wine vinegar with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt; stir until dissolved. Peel and thinly slice a red onion. Place onion slices in a glass jar or sealable container. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions, seal, and refrigerate for 2 hours.