I first tried ground bison with burgers a few years ago and I was blown away by how good they were. For those who haven’t tried bison meat, it is pretty much just like beef but better. Bison is leaner than beef and has a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids and complex nutrients. I think it tastes mostly like beef but with more flavor without being gamey at all. Even though it is considered a “game” meat the flavor is totally mind in my opinion.
Now onto the recipe: it turns out bison meat works great in both soups and burgers! While you can definitely substitute in beef I would recommend trying out bison for this one. This recipe also has some lovely veggie accompaniments: potatoes, cabbage and mushrooms give it some rustic hardiness perfect for winter. I used red wine to add more depth of flavor to the broth along with Worcestershire and herbs. Slow cooking does wonders for combining all of these flavors together. I garnished each bowl with shaved Parmesan but Romano or an aged cheddar would be delicious too!
Slow Cooker Bison & Vegetable Soup
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 4 carrots diced
- 8 red potatoes diced
- 8 oz. brown bella mushrooms small dice
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 lb ground bison
- 2 tbsp worcestershire
- 30 oz. tomato sauce
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme minced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 medium cabbage sliced
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup sweet corn
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shaved Parmesan or White Cheddar for garnish
In a stock pot, brown the bison for a few minutes and then transfer to the crock pot.
In the same pot, heat the oil or butter and cook the onions, carrots and celery on medium high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cabbage. Cook until the cabbage has wilted slightly.
Stir in the garlic, thyme, cayenne and red wine. Cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Transfer the mixture to a 6 quart slow cooker. Stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire, beef stock, bay leaves, corn, peas and potatoes.
Cook about 7-8 hours on low heat or 4-5 on high or until the potatoes are fork tender. Serve with Parmesan or white cheddar and a crusty baguette!