Bison and Rabbit Stew with Juniper Berries

This stew was introduced to me as Black Foot Stew in the 1974, as part of a Sweat Lodge Feast Stew. This was back in the days when I lived in a Tipi up in the mountain on Burnt Timber Creek. I now often bring it for feast on special ceremonial occasions. I originally learned it as a one-pot stew. We cooked most of our food in a big cast iron Dutch Oven, over an airtight or even over an open fire (coals). I now sometimes still do it in a Dutch Oven or just as often in a slow cooker crock pot.

1 Rabbit (you can substitute chicken or duck)

1 Bison roast or about 4 pounds of Bison Stew (you can substitute Beef)

4 cups water

6 Bay leaves

1 handful of Juniper berries

eight small potatoes (cut up)

eight carrots (chopped)

4 parsnips (chopped)

3 medium size Onions (diced)

1 head of garlic (chopped)

salt, pepper and other seasoning to desire (I now add 1 – 2 tsp. of Thyme)

Brown the Rabbit first and set aside. Heavily brown the Bison, add in and brown onions and garlic. Add back in Rabbit, water and Bay leaves, and juniper, and then slowly stew for several hours 2 – 6 depending on time and heat. Low, slow heat is best. Thirty min before serving, add in potatoes, parsnip and salt, pepper, (thyme) to taste. About ten minutes before serving add in carrots.

This stew is so good that it often gets eaten up in first sitting, but it will keep well refrigerated for several days, to be heated up again. I have even on occasion had enough to freeze and heat up at a later date with good success.