Crockpot Bison Stew and paying hommage to our food

Its has finally gotten cool enough to make stew! I apologize for the lack of pictures!  By the time I got home last night there was barely anything left!

I have been waiting patiently since I bought some bison short ribs at the farmer’s market this summer.  I have always wanted to try bison, mostly because my husband (who is a much more adventurous eater than I) said its good.  When I saw the farmer’s stand, and that they were offering samples, I just had to try it.

So, yes, I am not a vegan, even though I post lots of vegan recipes and think it is a very healthy lifestyle.  I tried it, and learned a lot, but I admit I like meat!  What can I say??!  So, to continue justifying eating meat, I do three things:

  1.  get the best cuts from the cleanest (healthiest) source
  2. eat small portions (probably half of what a normal portion would be for most people (about 2 oz)
  3. recognize the sacrifice of the animal and the resources it took to give me this delicious protein.

The more I learn about animals, the more I realize how amazing and smart they are.  We must not abuse them or take them for granted.  And the resources it takes to raise and slaughter meat is ridiculous.   I struggle with this, I will be honest with you, but not enough to give it up completely.  If we all eat less and more consciously, then it will have a big impact on agrifactories and on our environment.


So, this weekend it was finally cold enough to warrant defrosting my measly 1.5 pounds of short ribs.  Good meat is expensive, so I try to economize by getting cheaper cuts and smaller portions.  Stew is a great way to use high quality meat because you mix it in to make a hearty dish (people don’t notice that there is less), and you can use cheaper cuts that require longer cooking.

The farmer’s wife had a pretty complicated recipe and I simplified it down to the point where it was delicious, but nothing like the one she made.  I had some potatoes, carrots, string beans, and white beans in the kitchen, so I threw that all in too (chopped) along with a sauteed onion.  You can put anything in that you have around–that’s really what is so beautiful about stew.  It can be vegan with barley and lentils, or you can add some chicken or other sustainably-raised meat, and of course any veggies laying around–even kale!

Stew should also be easy to make.  It SHOULD be a crockpot meal.  Her recipe was not, so I adjusted it and, well, the fact that it was gone by the time I got home last night says it all.  Everyone enjoyed it, including my picky teenagers.

Here is the recipe:


1 c water

11/4 cup brewed coffee (save some from morning)

1-2 tsp himalayan salt (i used 3 twists on the grinder)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 drops doTerra rosemary oil

2 tsp tamari sauce

2 ice cubes (don’t know why)

1.5 lbs bison short ribs

I put in a vertical ziplock-style container like this one:


I just slipped the ribs in there vertically and marinated overnight.  It was a little full so I mixed gently and poured a little out. You could probably save it for part of the stew if you wanted.


1 chopped onion (sauteed)

1-3  fresh and chopped carrots, potatoes, string beans

1/4 cup ketchup

1 cup white beans

1 cup coffee

3 cups water

2 vegan chicken-flavored boullion cubes

1 bay leaf.

Drain the marinade off the ribs and discard.  Add the sauteed onions to the crockpot along with the other ingredients, while the meat is browning in the same pan as the onions.

cook in the crockpot on high for 8 hours.  I like to put the crockpot on low overnight and then high the last 4 hours if it needs to thicken.   Pull the bones and meat out of the pot.  Discard bones, and cut the meat into smaller pieces.  Put back into the crockpot and mix to disperse the meat.

Before you enjoy your stew, pay respect to the sacrifices made to get the meat to your table.  Saying thank you, literally, before you eat will raise the energy of your food to a higher level, and it will raise the consciousness of your eating higher as well.  Both of these seemingly benign acts are not.  Just try it and see how it elevates your meal!

Our stew was delicious, lean, and nutritious.  It was a great meal with a salad or just by itself.  YUM!  Stay warm!!  Please leave a message if you have a question or just tell me how YOUR stew turned out!

Be well, Elyse


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