Moroccan Braised Bison Meatball Stew and a plea for votes

Chiles en Nogada con Coco — Thanks to all who voted for The Pig & Quill! This contest is now closed. — 

I made the second round in Cook Taste Eat’s 365 Everyday Value Coconut Milk recipe contest!

Remember the other day when I posted that pretty little recipe for Chiles en Nogada con Coco and mentioned it was part of a contest hosted by Whole Foods and Cook Taste Eat? Well I’ve got some good news, reader friends — I made the first cut! And now we reach the hard part.

In order to realize the grand prize of cooking/filming with Michael Mina, my little dish has got to earn the most votes on Cook Taste Eat’s contest page here.
Wait, where? Here. Or here. Or you can also vote here.

In case you missed it, they all take you to the same place. Sorry, that was probably pretty annoying.
But really, here’s what to do:

  1. Click here to access the voting page.
  2. “Like” Cook Taste Eat, if prompted. (Their feed is full of great cooking tips, recipes and celebrity guest snippets, so you’ll be glad you did.)
  3. Cast your vote for “The Pig & Quill’s Chiles en Nogada.”
  4. Share with friends via Facebook, Twitter, email, whatever!
  5. While you’re at it, connect with The Pig & Quill on Facebook & Twitter. And Instagram. And Pinterest.

I’m kind of a dinky deal compared to some of the other folks in the running (all of whom have also produced some spectacular eats!), so I’m shamelessly begging for your votes here. In other words, I need all the help I can get. Thanks in advance, guys. You know I love you, and now I love you even more.


Ok, now that we’ve gone round and round about voting, let’s keep rolling with the next topic, shall we? It’ll be a ball, I promise. (Have you caught on to what I’m doing here?)

Moroccan Braised Bison Meatballs | the pig & quill

Moroccan Braised Bison Meatballs | the pig & quill

These spherical miracles are tender, aromatic and wickedly flavorful. And in classic lazy pig style, they couldn’t be simpler. In an attempt to stick to my “reduced factory-farmed meats” resolution, we chose bison for this dish and weren’t disappointed in the least. Despite the leanness of bison, these balls are melt-in-your-mouth tender. And I don’t know about you, but that’s never a bad thing.*

Moroccan Braised Bison Meatballs | the pig & quill

Moroccan Braised Bison Meatball Stew
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 2 hrs, see note | Serves: 4

Note: I hope you didn’t stop reading this recipe when you saw the cooking time, because 1.5 hours of that is simmering. Simmering! That means hands-off, balls-tending-to-themselves cookery. So it’s totally chill. All you really have to do to make this recipe come together is brown (spices), roll (balls), brown (balls and veggies). So simpoh. As with all ball recipes, these are even better the next day.

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb bison (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 2 T cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

For the stew:

  • 1.5 T olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes, such as San Marzano
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 med sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup green olives, roughly chopped
  • small pinch saffron (5-6 threads)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • crumbled feta cheese, for serving
  • additional cilantro or parsley, for serving

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin, salt, paprika, cinnamon, coriander and nutmeg and toast spices in melted butter until butter is golden brown and spices fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter mixture, panko and cilantro or parsley. Add bison and lightly use hands to lightly combine. Do not overmix. Form bison into 16 meatballs.

In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, about 10 mins. Transfer to plate.

To same pan, add carrots, onion, sweet potatoes and 1/2 tsp salt. Saute until onion is fragrant and translucent, about 5 mins. Add tomatoes, raisins, saffron and olives and bring to a boil, scraping all tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When mixture is at a bubble, nest meatballs in sauce (pouring in any juices collected on plate), reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 60 mins. At the end of the hour, remove cover, stir and simmer, uncovered, for an additional 20-30 minutes or until stew is desired consistency.

Serve over jasmine rice, quinoa or whole wheat cous cous topped with feta and fresh herbs to taste.


*Made ya wince! Oh, you didn’t wince? Great. We’re destined to be BFFs.

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7 Comments on “Moroccan Braised Bison Meatball Stew and a plea for votes”

  1. Looks delicious, will be making this tonight! Is yours served with basil? Trying to figure out what I should top it with.

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