Bison and Bean Tacos with Cilantro Crema



20 min


3 hrs 30 min



* PLUS overnight soaking
Bison and Bean Tacos with Cilantro Crema

Photo courtesy of Julie Van Rosendaal.

Based in Calgary, cookbook author and columnist Julie Van Rosendaal also shares recipes on her Dinner with Julie blog. Here, bison from the high plains of Alberta is the star of lean, delicious tacos.



  • Canola oil
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 lime , juiced

Cilantro Crema

  • 1 jalapeño pepper , seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Beans: Place dry beans in a pot. Cover with water and let soak for a few hr or overnight. When ready to cook, refresh the water in the beans and add 1 tsp salt and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer for about 40 min.
  • Bison: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300F. Place a heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add a generous drizzle of oil. Pat the bison dry with paper towels. Brown in the pot, in batches if necessary to allow space for the meat to brown. Season with salt, then add chili powder and cumin.
  • Return all the browned meat to the pot and enough broth to come 3⁄4 of the way up the meat. Add the tomato paste and lime juice. Cover and braise in the oven for about 3 hr, or until the meat is very tender but not splitting. Check after a few hours and add more broth or water if it seems dry.
  • Cilantro Crema: Whirl all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste and add lime juice or salt, if desired.
  • Shred the bison with two forks, tossing in the cooking juices. Serve on warm tortillas with beans, crema and garnishes.