Cranberry Buffalo Roast Stew

Gluten free buffalo stew with cranberries
A hearty gluten-free Crock Pot stew to warm your celiac soul.

What could be more comforting as we face the chilly New Year than a slow roasted one-dish supper? Not to mention, easier. Especially after all the hustle and bustle of last week's holiday celebrations. All the sugar. And latkes. And eggnog. And hoopla. I'm exhausted just imagining it. So I'll stop. And share a recipe instead- a tasty little number I tossed together in my trusty Crock Pot over the weekend- a cranberry laced stew that cooked its sweet 'n savory heart out while I worked on creating more print-friendly recipes for you.

I'm well on my way to posting the first hundred recipes and inserting the printer-friendly links. If I haven't reached your favorites yet, don't worry. I'll get there. I'm plugging away at it, working my way through the most popular recipes first (right now that means dozens of winter favorites, from the Best Vegan Mac and Cheese to Easy Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas and Vegetarian Mulligatawny, and of course, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares).
So, Happy Monday, Dear Heart. It's a brand new week. And I offer up this warming flavorful stew to help you recover from holiday stress and travel and whatever kind of wacky, weird or wonderful family stuff you dealt with over the big collective craziness we call Christmas. Take a deep breath. Slide on your toasty new slippers.

And slow cook a bowl of spoon-licking winter goodness.

Easy, hearty gluten-free buffalo stew
Gluten-free cranberry buffalo stew.

Cranberry Buffalo Roast Stew Recipe

This recipe was an intuitive toss-together inspiration stemming from my love of Jewish cooking and its artful mingle of tart and sweet flavors. Vegetarians and vegans, I don't see why you couldn't make a version of this stew sans buffalo. Add your favorite vegan protein- beans, chick peas, tofu or gluten-free tempeh.


Extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 scallions (spring onions) or 1 leek, sliced
4 medium carrots, trimmed, sliced
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
2 lb. buffalo roast
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons good ketchup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup or raw agave nectar, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons thyme
Broth or water, as needed


Turn on your slow cooker to low. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the bottom. Stir in the garlic. Add in the scallions, carrots, mushrooms and sweet potato; mix to combine. Sprinkle sea salt and ground pepper all over the buffalo roast. Place it in the crock on top of the veggies. Add in the cranberries, cranberry juice, wine, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, spices, thyme. Add enough broth or water to almost cover the veggies. Or add more liquid if you prefer more of a brothy stew. Cover and cook on low until the roast is fall-apart tender.

I started with a semi-frozen roast and cooked it for 12 hours at high altitude. Please follow your manufacturer's instructions for cooking a roast with veggies. To be safe, the internal temperature of the roast should reach 160 to 170ºF.

Before you serve, taste test the broth and see if it needs tweaking- more salt? A pinch of sugar? You want to round out and balance the tastes. I kept mine on the slightly tart side, because that's how we prefer it, but you might like it slightly sweeter or saltier.

Serve as a brothy stew. Or... remove the roast, and thicken the sauce into a gravy with a tablespoon of tapioca starch; heat through for twenty minutes or so till thickened.

Makes four hearty servings.

The second day, this stew was even tastier. We served it on top of grilled wedges of Skillet Cornbread.



  1. Kathleen16:43

    This flavor combination sounds great! I'm going to make it with a grass fed beef chuck roast I have in the freezer.

  2. I have a roast beast that I have been puzzling over, what to do? This stew recipe will be perfect! Thank you Karina, for this, and all your great recipes!

  3. What can I use as a substitute if I don't have access to buffalo roast? Otherwise it sounds delicious!

  4. This looks and sounds fantastic, Karina! Since we don't seem to have buffalo roaming the wild forests of NH, I'll trust a pot roast will work as well.

  5. I love buffalo! It's so much more vibrant tasting than beef! Unfortunately, I haven't seen it in roast cuts around here, only ground.

  6. You must be peeking in the window here in my little English village. Yes, I have on the new slippers. And I'm wearing flannel pyjamas for the second day in a row (picked up a virus on the Eurostar, coming home from the Continent). And the family weirdness? I'll be blogging that later!

    Meantime, I dusted off the crockpot and was looking for something to simmer for the day whilst I finish my book and get it off to the agent. So I sat down with a pot of tea, and voila, there was your answer for me. Stew.

    Thanks for the recipe -- I'll do it with organic beef-roast from the freezer.

    Happy New Year, and thanks for all the recipes!

  7. Hi - I got distracted reading the buffalo stew recipe by the mention of flourless choclate cake - again!
    (I promise to get back on the strict diet January2nd)
    But for now, juts in case i need to make a chocolate fix, what weight is a "stick" of butter - not a measurement we use here in Ireland?

  8. Oh my. I love the concept tangy and sweet.

  9. Kathleen- Grass fed beef sounds great!

    Junior- Yay. Thanks so much!

    Cove Girl- Beef or even a pork roast will work.

    Katrina- No buffalo roaming New Hampshire hills? ;p Yeah, pot roast will be fab.

    Glenna- Gracias!

    Milhan- I found the roast at Whole Foods. Do you have one nearby?

    P. Flannel PJ's? Cozy. Beef stew sounds tasty, doesn't it?

    Christia- One stick of butter here equals 8 tablespoons, or one half cup, @ 4 oz. Hope that helps.

    Have a healthy, safe + happy New Year!


  10. I just happen to be going to Whole Foods today (it's not as nearby as TJ's though)!

  11. I just love your blog, and this recipe is one of the reasons why. It sounds delicious! I should leave more comments; I always learn something new and your blog has made our culinary transition to gluten free so much easier. Best wishes for a happy new year!

  12. Sounds fabulous, and no stray posts at all are showing up in Bloglines here. Good job!

  13. Sholamith11:48

    Sounds wonderful! The sweet & sour reminds me of my favorite brisket recipe... cooked with dried apricots and prunes.

    I have a tomato allergy. Would you just leave out the ketchup or replace it with something? What would you suggest?

  14. Paula- Thank you- I hope you do leave more comments in the New Year! Feedback is helpful.

    Kalyn- Phew. Thanks so much for letting me know. Happy New Year! xox

    Sholasmith- It *is* evocative of a brisket recipe- yours with prunes sounds delicious. If you can't eat tomato- just leave it out; I don't think you'll miss it. Taste test and add an extra pinch of spice, sugar or wine, if you need to.

    Happy New Year!


  15. I love your site. The recipes are wonderful! I recommend it to everyone. I made the roast recipes along with the mexican chocolate cake for a new years treat. It was wonderful! Thanks you...

  16. I love your the idea to use cranberries and cranberry juice. this looks so nourishing and yummy. I an not a big buffolo eater but it is good for me since I'm still nursing. Again, will have to give this one a try when I stomach can take food!

  17. I made this past came out amazing! It is quite tangy, and the flavor is a bit of a surprise in a totally good way.