We would go to Betty’s for dinner every Sunday night. The meal was always the same: roast beef. Every. Single. Week.
A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my friendly local butcher about the general absence of bison. He explained that it didn’t typically sell well, but that he’d give it another go and see what kind of response it got. Bison typically appears in two cuts: steak or ground. Last week, he showed me a nice-looking sirloin roast. There was simply going to have to be a Sunday night roast.
If you haven’t cooked bison before, it’s an extremely lean cut of meat that’s lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than beef. But that leanness also makes it a bit finicky. Cook it too long or too hot and you could be left with a dried-out chunk of meat.
I decided to trap moisture and add flavor with bacon. Mmmm, bacon.
A note about ovens: all ovens have some variation in temperature. These variations tend to be more obvious at the cooler temperatures. After one hour in the oven, your roast may be perfect; others may need up to 20 minutes more. Check at the one-hour mark to establish your temperature baseline.
- Bison sirloin roast, about 2 lbs
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 bag frozen pearl onions
- Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Dried thyme
- Olive or grapeseed oil
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Season the roast with salt and pepper. Toss carrots, potatoes and onions with oil, salt, pepper and thyme.
In an oven-safe, lidded saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil until shimmering. Add the roast and sear on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total.
Arrange vegetables around the roast. Drape the roast with bacon. Bake, covered, for approximately 1 hour.
Remove the lid and check the internal temperature of the roast. We’re aiming for a temperature of about 120 degrees, and veggies that are fork-tender. If it’s not quite there, return to the oven and check again in 10 minutes.
When the roast reaches 120 degrees, uncover the roast and crank your broiler to high. Allow to roast for 5-10 minutes, or until your bacon starts to crisp. The internal temperature should be 130-135 degrees now. Remove from the oven and set the roast aside on a plate, draped in foil. Let the roast rest for 10-15 minutes.
Carve and serve.
The Tiny Kitchen Assistant didn’t notice that the roast was something other than beef; he munched happily, delighted that I made meat and cooked carrots.
My husband was less impressed. He gives a higher rating to my slow cooker pot roast. He also couldn’t understand why I made a 2-lb roast for three people. I, on the other hand, wholeheartedly believe in cooking once and reaping the benefits of leftovers later in the week.