Smoked Bison Ribs w/Blueberry-Ancho sauce.

Bison ribs are wonderful, meaty, rich, and full of flavor, they are also tricky to get "right"  

I have only seen two restaurants who do them justice. I am hoping to find a simple method of preparing these at home. Just another experiment from the kitchen at RATH Ranch. 

Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery in Denver, Co. is my favorite.. and what I am trying to simulate here. 

Ted's Montana Grill, also does an exceptional Sunday Short Rib, but that's another experiment to come.

The finished product. (Last night's dinner) 

Typically I would just toss ribs in the smoker, give them a couple of hours, and eat. Smoking adds flavor, improves the appearance of meat through the Maillard reaction, and combined with curing preserves the meat. Bison ribs can be tough though, and I thought that a bit of modern technology can help 

Sous Vide, cooking at precise temperatures for a long time can really help. Going low and slow for 24-30 hours in a water bath makes for tender and juicy meat. Then just finish them on the grill or in the smoker, and you're ready to feast. 

Started with 6 racks of monster ribs from Great Range Bison (available now at the Herdwear Store) 

I cut the ribs into individual bones.. did leave some of the smaller ones as double. 

removed the membrane from the underside, (forgot to take a pic of that) 

Seasoned them with our secret spice blend (kosher salt & cracked pepper) 

Sealed them in the Vac-sealer...

and let them go 30 hours at 130f in the Sous Vide.

Wrapped it up.. and now we wait. :) 

So, now 30 hours later... the ribs are fully cooked and very tender. Removed them from the water bath, let them rest and resorb some of that moisture. 

They are still a bit pink, and really a good medium rare, and they would be perfectly great to eat, but I really like that good smoky flavor and the "bark" that forms from the Malliard reaction..

SO.. into the smoker they go, 3 hours at about 250 gives them a good smoke ring, a bit of a crunch on the fatty bits. 



 SO, while you were waiting on these bad boys to get ready, you should have some time to make your sauce. 

Blueberry-Ancho Sauce


  • 1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup onion ( minced)
    3 stalks celery (chopped)
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    1 cup water
    1 8oz can tomato paste
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons spicy mustard
    2 tablespoons honey
    1/2 cup dried ancho chili ground fine
    Salt, to taste
    Pepper, to taste

  • Steps to Make It
    In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and add the onion and celery. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions and celery are soft.

    Add the minced garlic and cook for only 15 to 20 seconds and no longer.

    Add the water and ancho powder. 

    Add remaining ingredients (tomato paste, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, spicy mustard, honey, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper). Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.

    Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (about 15 to 20 seconds).

    Use the sauce immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days after preparation. Warm the sauce slightly before use.

There ya go... enjoy and if you are wondering how these were, here is a little real time reaction video as our family tried them



  • Robert Jason

    Where do the blueberries come in?

  • Keith Z.

    This sounds delicious! Just curious as to where the blueberries come into the whole process?
    (I’m not much of a cook but I do like to grill some, so forgive me if this is a silly question.)

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