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The Avenue Grill’s Bison with Thai Barbecue Sauce

Avenue Grill Bison

If you’ve never had this guest favorite dish at The Avenue Grill {630 East 17th Avenue, Denver; 303.861.2820}, then you better get yourself into this classic Uptown restaurant stat. Super tender and flavorful, the bison–sourced from River Ranch–is slow-roasted with ginger, star anise, and vegetables for four hours. Chef Andrew Lubatty serves it with Thai barbecue sauce and wasabi potatoes and recommends pairing it with Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Cabernet Franc. You can also try making this at home with Avenue Grill’s recipe! Stay tuned for the full recipe online, and get started with the barbecue sauce recipe now.

River Ranch Bison with Thai Barbecue Sauce from Chef Andrew Lubatty at The Avenue Grill

serves four


Barbecue sauce:
1 c Thai sweet chile sauce*
1/3 c prepared barbecue sauce
2 tsp dry mustard
3 limes, juiced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

*Thai chile sauce–or Nam pla–is available in the Asian section of grocery stores.

1/4 c vegetable oil
2-1/2 lbs buffalo chuck or round, well trimmed, cut in 4 equal portions
1 large onion, quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and cut in 2” segments
2 ribs celery, cut in 2-inch segments
3 cloves garlic
5 star anise
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 qt beef broth
salt and black pepper to taste
mashed potatoes and vegetables for serving


For the barbecue sauce: Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

For the bison: Heat a large Dutch oven on medium high, then add oil and bison two pieces at a time. Brown all over, transfer to a plate, and repeat with the other two pieces.

Return all of the bison to the Dutch oven, and then add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, anise, ginger, and broth. If necessary, add water to cover buffalo by a half inch. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and slow cook the bison for 3-4 hours or until fork tender. You also can test for doneness by removing a piece of buffalo and pinching off a corner to see if it’s tender enough. 

When the meat is almost ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat meat with the Thai barbecue sauce. Transfer the meat mixture to a baking pan, and roast for 10 minutes to finish.

Serve bison with mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetables on the side.