Buffalo Tastes Good! – Bison Picadillo

This is my favorite bison recipe yet! I love Caribbean food, but it’s something I haven’t spent a lot of time cooking just yet. I had a hankering for some plantain, so instead of running to our local Caribbean restaurant, we made it at home.

I found a recipe for Smoky Picadillo by Michelle Francis over at Balancing Paleo, and I decided to give it a try. Of course, as usual, I made some adjustments for what was in my house at the time and my own personal preferences (and I didn’t really measure the spices, just estimated). But I kept it paleo.

It’s a weeknight, and I got home late, BUT we had pre-chopped some of our veggies, so this was on the table in about 45 minutes. For a main meat dish and 3 veggie sides, that is not bad! Especially considering we’ll get two more meals out of the meat.


  • 2 1/4 ground bison
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 T smoked paprika (I mixed two different kinds)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C sliced green olives
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 2 T capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T dried cilantro
  • Roasted almonds, chopped for garnish
  • Salt and (cayenne) pepper to taste


  1. Drizzle a little olive oil in a cold sauté pan, add the onions, red peppers, and carrots, and cook over medium heat until the veggies start to soften. Add a little salt part way through this process, so the onions will release a little of their water.
  2. Add the ground bison and season with salt and pepper, then brown. I realized I was out of black pepper, so I just used cayenne pepper in its place. Perfect swap, in my opinion.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and spices (garlic powder, ancho chili powder, thyme, oregano, paprika, and cinnamon). Mix the spices in, and then add the broth, raisins, olives, and capers. Simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
  4. Add the vinegar and cilantro, then adjust any seasonings if needed.
  5. Serve with the almonds as a garnish.

I would ordinarily have followed the recipe added cumin, but I was out of that, too (which is a RARE thing in our house). But it turned out, we didn’t miss it. I probably won’t add it in next time because the seasoning was great for us. But I used a LOT more paprika in my version than the original recipe. We like paprika and we have this awesome locally-made Bourbon Smoked Paprika from Elk Creek Vinyards in Owenton, KY. I almost want to eat this stuff out of the can.

We ate this alongside some asparagus sauteed in butter and garlic, some sauteed mushrooms in olive oil, and, my addiction waiting to happen, some plantain chips. These were simple: slice, toss in melted coconut oil, spread them on a baking sheet, salt them, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Another great bison dinner! I’m already planning the next one…

Thanks to Nathan Wolf for being a great food photographer. 

Categories: FoodTags: , , ,

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