Sunday suppers are a tradition for my funny Alaska family. For me, that means a little fancier meal than the standard weekday fare. Last night, we had an amazing buffalo pot roast. Amazing not only because it tasted wonderful, but also because it was SO EASY! Thank goodness for slow cookers!

Before I get to the recipe, I bet you want to know why I chose a buffalo roast. Recently, NPR’s Fresh Air ran a story on how chicken litter is fed to cattle. Chicken “litter” is full of chicken poo, feathers, and even dead chickens. It was absolutely horrifying. So, when shopping for my family’s supper, I looked for organic, vegetarian fed beef only. In my mind, that should be all that’s sold (what the heck is the USDA doing, anyway?). But it was impossible to find at our limited grocery store selections in Juneau.

What I did find was organic, vegetarian fed, free range buffalo.  So that’s what we had.

Free Range Buffalo on the Road in Kodiak, Alaska


3 lb organic vegetarian-fed buffalo roast
1 cup good quality blended red wine
2 cups Swanson’s low salt beef broth
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger
8 oz chopped tomatoes with juice
12 oz frozen chopped onion
6 dried bay leaves
2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms


How I Made It:

Whisk the wine, beef broth, garlic, ginger, and Worcestershire sauce together and put aside.  In a large slow cooker, combine the frozen onion and tomatoes.  Spread on the bottom of the slow cooker as a bed for the roast.  Rinse and pat the roast dry before placing it in the slow cooker.  Pour the red wine mixture over the roast (it won’t cover it, but that’s okay).  Add the bay leaves around but not on the roast.

Cover and set the slow cooker to high for 6 hours.  At about 3 hours, turn the roast over.  At the 6 hour mark, check the roast.  If it needs more liquid, add another cup of beef broth.  Add the mushrooms and stir to ensure they are well mixed with the pot liquor.  If the roast has reached at least 130 degrees in the center, reduce the slow cooker to low and let cook for another two hours.  The goal is 150 degrees at the center, without drying out.

How It Turned Out:

It was lovely – the meat was tender and yummy, and the pot liquor was wonderful. It was so tender that it wouldn’t slice — it just fell apart. (In fact, the reason there are pictures of live roaming buffalo and not the roast is because it was gone so fast.)

I served this roast with fresh green beans and carrots, and easy mashed potatoes. If you haven’t discovered Ore-Rida steam and mash, you’re wasting time peeling potatoes.

I’ve used this recipe (or one close to it) with beef roasts, caribou roasts, and moose roasts — it’s great with all of these.  If you decide to cook the vegetables in the slow cooker, too, add 2 lbs quartered red potatoes at the beginning and then add the carrots, mushrooms, and green beans not more than 2 hours before you plan to serve it (you don’t want them mushy).