I just finished reading the book Lord Grizzly, a book about Hugh Glass and his adventures or rather misadventures. One of the things I took away from the book is that they cooked and ate a lot of Buffalo in the book. They talk about taking the whole hump of the buffalo and boiling it for long hours until the meat is tender and delicious. The way they talk about buffalo in the book it made me want to try cooking more buffalo. Lucky for me mybuddy Ben had gone to Montana this last January and brought back some buffalo. I have been slowly working my way through it and have found it to be delicious but it can be a little tough.
The whole roasts and larger chunks of meat that I have been full of sinew and connective tissue and it has made for some challenging eating. I had corned a buffalo roast for St Paddy's day and even that didn't tenderize the meat as much as I had hoped. I remembered back to last October when I went to a dinner put on by Sean Sherman and one of the dishes he prepared was a shredded buffalo with Hominy. I remembered it being very tender and delicious so I sent him a message with the hope that he would let me in on his secret.
Not only did he share his method but clued me in on the seasoning as well. That buffalo that I remember being so good was braised with cedar and maple syrup. No fancy spices or cooking techniques just straight forward deliciousness. Chef Sherman suggested I use fresh flat cedar and since I didn't know where I was going to get that I used cedar paper which is available with most grilling supplies. The cedar paper and some Maple syrup is really all the seasoning that goes into it. Cedar always reminds me of my grandparents Sauna and I really had never thought mush of using it as a seasoning agent. I have grilled on cedar planks but that adds more of a smoked flavor to the fish or whatever I am cooking. This actually adds the cedar flavor to the meat and it really is awesome.
I ended up cooking this for 18 hours, I don't know if it needed all that but the first 8 hours weren't enough and by the time I got home to it, it had been 18 hours. The meat shredded easily off the bone and the cedar really stood out. There was just a hint of sweetness from the syrup and it was mind blowingly good.
Cedar Braised Buffalo Roast.
1 4 lbs. Buffalo roast
5 sheets of cedar paper
1/2 cup of maple syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 can of white hominy, drained
1 can of sweet corn, drained
Rub the roast with salt and then bring the oil up to heat in a large frying pan. when the oil is hot sear the roast on all sides until well caramelized. Place the cedar sheets in the bottom of a crock pot and then transfer the roast on to the cedar. pour the maple syrup over the roast and then fill the crock pot with water until you almost cover the roast. Set the crock pot on low and cook until it shreds apart. When the roast is fork tender transfer the roast to a large bowl and shred add about a cup of the braising liquid to the roast and then stir in a can of hominy and a can of corn. Toss til combined and serve.