Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Nov

Succulent Bison Roast

A roast is a beautiful thing. With very little work on your part, a roast can easily feed a large group of people and more often than not, provide leftovers for the next day. Roasts can be casual and budget friendly, like a good ‘ol pot roast, or you can step it up a notch for upcoming holiday dinners by roasting something a little different, like bison.

Although similar in flavor to beef, bison is often described as having a sweeter, richer flavor that needs only minimal seasoning to enhance it. When cooked rare or medium rare, bison has a delicate texture that is less stringy and chewy than beef can be. Bison rump, chuck or round roasts are the least expensive, but also the least tender cuts and are best cooked for hours in a slow cooker. We all love comfort food from a Crock Pot, but when the holidays roll around you might have your sights set on something a little fancier. If this is the case, start scanning your meat department for either bison tri-tip, or if you really want to splurge, bison prime rib.

Bison prime rib is thought to be the most tender cut and at around $30/pound, you’re going to pay for every tender mouthful. Bison tri-tip is less-expensive and can be equally delicious and quite tender, too. Cut from the sirloin, the tri-tip is richly flavored and when served medium-rare and cut thinly, almost melts in your mouth.

Whichever cut you choose, bison cooks relatively quickly, freeing up your oven for other holidays goodies. To make the meal even easier to prepare, surround the meat with chopped root vegetables – turnip, rutabaga and parsnip – so your main course and side dish will cook together and finish at the same time.

Now back to that bit about bison needing only minimal seasoning… salt and pepper will do just fine, but if you want to get a little fancier without much fuss, look for Herbes de Provence in the spice aisle. This aromatic blend of dried thyme, savory, rosemary, tarragon, basil and lavender adds complex flavor to a roast and will send an unbelievable aroma wafting out of your oven. You’ll be instantly transported out of your kitchen and to the French countryside. If France isn’t your thing, however, any simple blend from your spice drawer will make a tasty rub for your bison roast.

We find that a 2 – 2 1/2  pound tri-tip roast easily feeds 4 or more,  but talk to your butcher about how many pounds of meat to buy. Obviously, the cooking time will increase as the size of the roast increases, but cooking time will also vary from oven to oven. The best indicator of when your roast is perfectly cooked is temperature, not time. A meat thermometer is your best friend, and when that friend says “145 degrees Fahrenheit” your bison roast is ready to come out of the oven. Served on a platter surrounded with roasted vegetables and garnished with fresh herbs, a tri-tip bison roast is a simple but elegant meal: succulent, tender and mouth-wateringly flavorful.


  • 2 pounds bison tri-tip
  • 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence (or other spices of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (don’t use fresh or it might burn)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 each parsnip, turnip and rutabaga, cubed


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a knife, carefully slice most of the silver skin off the meat. The silver skin is the thin, white layer covering parts of the roast.

In a small bowl mix together Herbes de Provence, garlic, salt and oil.

Rub the entire roast with the mixture then stick a thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. In a roasting pan, surround the meat with the chopped vegetables. Lightly drizzle the vegetables with oil then put the pan, uncovered, in the oven for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and cook the meat for approximately 35-45 minutes more, or until the thermometer reaches 140-145 degrees.  The meat in the photo, cooked rare, was taken out of the oven at 140 degrees.

Remove the meat from the oven but leave the oven on so the vegetables can continue to cook. Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes, uncovered or very lightly covered with foil. Remove the vegetables from the oven, slice the meat thinly, and serve.

**The internal temperature of the roast will rise while the meat is resting, bringing it to medium rare. If you slice the meat and it is still too rare for your taste, don’t panic. Return the sliced meat to the oven for additional cooking, but keep an eye on it – once sliced, the meat will cook very quickly. Remember, bison is most tender and flavorful when it is still fairly pink.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I love bison, it’s such a treat. I normally pan fry a bison steak with salt, pepper and rosemary.

    Scoring the meat will allow it to cook faster and also absorb the seasoning for better flavouring.

    Highly recommend anyone trying it out.

    Jeff wrote on November 6th, 2010
  2. I love Bison – rib-eye steaks are particularly fine.

    140F seems like a high temperature to be removing the roast at. 130F is generally considered to be the temperature at which medium-rare occurs, and I remove the roast at a bit below that – 128F or so. Once the meat has rested for about 20 minutes, the internal temperature settles at a perfect medium rare.

    Removing the roast at an internal temperature of 140F would likely result in it being cooked to Medium – which some might find a little overcooked.

    Another tip that I suggest is to use is to pre-sear the roast with a blowtorch (a proper propane thing, not a wimpy butane thing you get in cookshops) – it negates the need for the initial 15min cooking at high temperature.

    Finally, it’s important to mention that before going the oven, the roast should have been allowed to come to room temperature first, otherwise it will not be cooked as evenly.

    Jeremy wrote on November 6th, 2010
  3. thats the tastiest thing ive ever seen

    will wrote on November 6th, 2010
  4. oh man, perfect timing! I’ve got a bison sirloin tip roast in the fridge that’s just thawed out. So making this tonight!

    Mason wrote on November 6th, 2010
  5. Bison is great to eat I highly recommend it. I will try this roast next time bison is on the menu.

    debbie_downer wrote on November 6th, 2010
  6. damn that looks taaaassty!!!

    Ramon wrote on November 6th, 2010
  7. Yum! Can I sear it with my cutting torch? It definitely doesn’t qualify as wimpy. The electric smoker would probably be the right trick too, but what kind of smoking chips? Apple? Mesquite? Oak?

    David B wrote on November 6th, 2010
  8. We just ordered another 1/4 cow which should be ready to be picked up in 1-2 weeks. I would LOVE to enjoy a tri-tip bison roast but a 100% grass fed beef tri-tip will do with this recipe!

    Primal Toad wrote on November 6th, 2010
  9. I have never seen anything other than a small pack of ground bison at grocery stores where we are…NW of Atlanta. Sure would love to try that a Bison roast one day…sounds delicious. But I am happy to report my nephew called to let me know he was shot a deer for us last night, and it will be in our freezer in a few days!

    Patty wrote on November 6th, 2010
    • Patty i think I saw other cuts of bison at Dekalb Farmers Market…

      AdrianaG wrote on November 7th, 2010
      • Thanks AdrianaG! I have been wanting to get over there, and you just gave me enough reason to make the one hour drive!

        Patty wrote on November 7th, 2010
  10. Oh man that looks heavenly.

    The Primal Palette wrote on November 6th, 2010
  11. I wonder if we could source a few bison steer calves to add to our herd. I think bison are all on the other island, though. Might be worth a look…

    kem wrote on November 6th, 2010
    • My father in law owns bison. You have to be careful they can be very dangerous animals, also you will never have steer calves with bison. Your best bet would be to add young hefer calves.

      Julie wrote on February 28th, 2013
  12. Looks soooo good…

    I’m wondering where folks are finding bison…


    Elizabeth wrote on November 7th, 2010
  13. Our WholeFoods Market carries the Bison tri-tip. It’s in the oven right now!

    Anne wrote on November 7th, 2010
    • Who knew? I’ll be checking out Whole Foods. Thanks!

      Elizabeth wrote on November 7th, 2010
  14. it looks delicious. i haven’t tried bison yet. i am not courageous enough to try other meat products. but from the look, the pinkish color when cooked looks so delicious.

    pinky black wrote on November 7th, 2010
  15. Hey Mark, question for you. How does Bison fit in with Grok’s lifestyle? We didn’t evolve with the capability to create fire (although I’ve known this guy who after eating some chili could come close) nor the capability to bring down large animals like bison (unless you assume tool use at which point all bets are off).

    Do you recommend eating meat rare (or raw)? Should we stay away from the larger animals and keep more to what Grok could have taken down himself (rabbits, birds, lizards, rodents and so on)?

    Gal @ 60 in 3 wrote on November 8th, 2010
  16. Bison can be found on-line. Here in Oregon, there are a number of ranches. The last bison we got came from Washington state. We shared one with another couple, so have lots in the freezer. Whole Paych…er…Foods charges 3 arms and 2 legs and your first born for bison. I just can’t afford it. We were able to get half a bison slaughtered, cut and wrapped for about $4/pound/hanging weight. I’m pretty sure that’s the last time that will happen. The rancher where we bought became aware that most ranchers are charging $7/pound plus cutting and wrapping. There are some that are much higher, but we won’t be buying that either. too bad; so sad.

    Mary Anne wrote on November 10th, 2010
  17. oh, and we got grass-fed, sustainable pasture for the $4/pound. organic is MUCH higher around here. We also discovered you have to be pretty tenacious about getting the feed information. Many ranchers we contacted didn’t include the information on their websites, and some were pretty reluctant to say precisely what they fed the animal…which I thought was pretty odd.

    Mary Anne wrote on November 10th, 2010
  18. I used this recipe tonight to cook a bison tri tip that I picked up at whole foods. 12 dollars a pound and worth every penny. I think this is the best piece of meat I’ve ever cooked. I took it out at 140 and it came out perfectly medium rare after 20 minutes of resting. These instructions were absolutely perfect. Time to go get seconds!

    Andrea wrote on November 6th, 2011
  19. Thanks so much for this recipe! I love bison but hadn’t made tri-tip before last night. This recipe was just perfect, the seasoning was complimentary and the timing was great. Usually I cook pot roast and that takes hours, this you can make this during the week and have dinner on the table in an hour or so. I did swap the rutabagas for potatoes and it worked perfectly.

    Thanks again!!!

    Emily wrote on February 7th, 2012
  20. I love finding bison recipies! This one looks fantastic. Since my in-laws own a bison farm we have meat readily available to us!

    Julie wrote on February 28th, 2013
    • I just picked up a small bison tri-tip and look forward to slow roasting it. I tried ground bison, but one pound was waaay too much for one person; I found it very filling. I think the tri-tip will be more versatile. Looking forward to trying the rub! Julie, you are so fortunate!

      Mary, Secyatlaw wrote on March 30th, 2013

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!