August 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm #9187KevinParticipant
I have about 250 pounds of American buffalo or bison left and it’s from an old bull. Lean as can be and tough. Tried a recipe for pot roast in the pressure cooker (1 hour at 15 psi) and well, the poodle got a nice surprise. I’ve seen leather softer than that loin roast. No fat you can see at all.
Any one have any ideas on this? Otherwise I am going to end up with a lot of really lean hamburger…
KevinAugust 7, 2013 at 12:04 am #9189
I do hope other readers with direct experience with bison or other tough meat will chime in here with their advice.
In the meantime, I did a little reading on cooking very lean meats (because I rarely purchase such lean meat) and I discovered that you might be over cooking your bison.
Here is a great website with information on cooking grass-fed beef and specific tips on overcoming its natural leanness:
Based on the information gleaned there, and you message this is what i recommend you do with your next bison roast:
1. Boil, instead of braising the roast – maybe follow this recipe but cut the pressure cooking time to just 20 to 25 minutes – you’ve got nothing to loose, you can always pressure cook it more!
2. Open the pressure cooker with Natural Release.
3. Refrigerate the meat for about 30 minutes and then cut it in thin slices across the grain using a meat slicer (this is my fave tool for roasts).
Hopefully you’ll get to enjoy this high-quality meat instead of making another doggie chew-toy!
P.S. Now you’ve got me wondering what they do in Italy with the Water Buffalo bulls and Cows that finished producing milk. I love mozzarella di bufala so I’m trying to imagine hamburger di bufala!September 11, 2013 at 11:55 am #9625KevinParticipant
Bison and water buffalo makes excellent hamburger. Even the old bull I can currently chewing is good ground. For grilling, it lacks fat so I add a panache (bread and milk) and some oil (sesame or truffle). Adding fatty beef or lamb at 10% works well too.
Makes a good meat loaf with 20% lamb and 20% pork too.
Haven’t had time to try the pressure cooker due to work but we did get one of those bladed things used to tenderize meat and worked over a roast before slow cooking. It made a major difference. So I plan to take the loin roast, tenderize the heck out of it and then try your suggestion. Probably next week.September 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm #9627AnonymousParticipant
I believe I’m correct in saying that pressure cooking meat normally requires the “natural” release method at the end of cooking time? Apparently, if the pressure is suddenly released, the meat fibres toughen?
It would be worth trying the natural release after each attempt. After the cooking time, just move the pressure cooker off the hot burner and leave the pressure to drop by itself, which takes about 10 – 20 minutes. You will still save a LOT of time and energy.September 19, 2013 at 11:52 am #9833
David, I’ve seen that written somewhere too. Actually, I read that a quick release would cause the meat to contract and toughen – which is technically not even possible without chemical or electrical stimulation.
During my cooking experiments and observations, what I have found is that a completely different set of events leaves a tough and dry meat from a quick open and it’s actually tied to evaporation. I go into this in detail in my up-coming cookbook but basically, no matter the latest theory as to WHY it works, it is true that you get better results from meat using natural release.
LSeptember 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm #9838AnonymousParticipant
I’m glad you’ve confirmed this Laura.
I have seen recipes for chicken and the quick release of pressure is used after the cooking time, not the natural release. Maybe chicken recipes are an exception? But for all other meats, the natural release seems to work best.September 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm #9839
I just published a recipe for chicken without natural release. ; )
There are two reasons why the chicken and rice recipe works, anyway. First, the chicken was boiled which makes the meat less susceptible to evaporation of its juices and, secondly, the meat was tightly covered after it was pulled out of the cooker.
When I write a recipe I try to use every bit of knowledge I’ve got to extract the most flavor from the ingredients in the least amount of time (and sometimes that includes opening time, as well).
LMay 8, 2016 at 10:51 am #35536MD MagsParticipant
I have a 1.5 lb bison chuck roast. A recipe I have for “Greek” pot roast using beef says to brown it then cook it for 60 minutes on high then use natural release. the recipe was for a 2-3 lb roast though.
Two questions —
1 Is 60 minutes too long for a smaller roast?
2. It’s bison, not beef. Does this requires different techniques, times, etc?May 13, 2016 at 1:23 pm #35635HelenAdamsParticipant
Bison is similar to beef for cooking. It is much leaner though. cooking times is usually determined by thickness. I would start with 30 minutes and add time. But probably you have cooked it by now.August 1, 2016 at 10:23 am #36826Suzie QParticipant
We have very successfully cooked venison in the pressure cooker, with minimal added fat, and it is quite lean, as is bison. We always use a natural release method with lean game. We recently made Sika deer shanks in the 15 qt pressure canner/cooker, which did a great job breaking down the connective tissues. The only way we know to do a large very lean roast is to bard it with fat. But if we cut the roast up into smaller pieces, especially across the grain, the end result seems not as tough or chewy.
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