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Cuban Bison Picadillo

Serves 4 to 6


    Here’s a classic Spanish recipe that lends itself well to ground bison or water buffalo. Bison is especially lean, so adding it to a sauce (such as in this recipe) gives it some extra moisture while providing a robust heartiness to the traditional picadillo.


    Cuban Bison Picadillo


    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 lb (450 g) ground water buffalo or bison
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large sweet onion, diced
    • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
    • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
    • 14 oz (398 mL) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, including juice
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar or brine from olives
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) oregano
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted green olives or 2 Tbsp (30 mL) capers, rinsed and drained
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
    • Lime wedges


    Per serving:

    • calories288
    • protein24g
    • fat17g
      • saturated fat5g
      • trans fat1g
    • carbohydrates10g
      • sugars5g
      • fibre3g
    • sodium519mg



    In large sauté pan, heat oil. Add ground water buffalo or bison and season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry over medium heat, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, cooking until no longer pink.

    Add onion and continue to sauté for 5 minutes, until onion is soft and meat is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in poblano pepper, jalapeno, tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice, vinegar or olive brine, and seasonings. Stir and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 more minutes until mixture is thickened. Stir in olives or capers. Add more seasonings, to taste, if you wish. Sprinkle with cilantro.

    Serve spooned into leafy lettuce, warmed tacos, or on steamed rice or cauliflower rice. It’s delicious with cilantro and lime.

    Tip: For additional flavour and colour, serve with dollops of sour cream, sliced avocado, and sweet buttered corn on the side.


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    This recipe is part of the Delicious Recipes for Ethical Meats collection.



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