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RECIPE: Bison Birria by Chef Sean Sherman

Sherman's Indigenous Food Lab at the Midtown Global Market features the Indigenous Food Lab Market, opening June 1.

MINNEAPOLIS — Award-winning chef Sean Sherman's latest venture is another celebration of Indigenous food.

Sherman's nonprofit NATIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems) and its Indigenous Food Lab at Midtown Global Market is introducing the Indigenous Food Lab Market starting June 1. The market puts a spotlight on local and national Indigenous food and crafts, and provides educational opportunities about Indigenous foods.

“Our ancestors understood how to live in balance with the natural world. Indigenous foods are the original foods of this continent. It’s important we recognize that and start celebrating those foods,” Sherman said.

Learn more about NATIFS and the Indigenous Food Lab online, or by visiting the Indigenous Food Lab Market at Midtown Global Market.

During a visit to KARE 11 Saturday to talk about the Indigenous Food Lab Market, Chef Sherman also shared a recipe for Bison Birria:

Bison Birria


  • 5 lbs. Bison, Chuck Roast
  • 10 ea Guajillo, Peppers
  • 4 ea Ancho Chile, Dried
  • 3 ea Chipotle Chile, Dried
  • 6 ea Pasilla Chile, Dried
  • 3 TBS Cumin, Ground
  • 2 TBS Oregano, Mexican Dried
  • 1 tsp Allspice, Powder
  • 4 ea Bay Leaf, Dried
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar, Maple
  • 2 TBS Salt, Kosher
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 6 pts Water
  • 4 TBS Sunflower Oil


  1. In a saucepan, bring 1 quart of water to a boil and let simmer. 
  2. Seed and destem all chiles.
  3. In a cast iron skillet, roast all chili pods on high heat for 2-3 minutes. And set aside. 
  4. Add spices and roasted chilis to the water.
  5. Simmer for 20 min.
  6. Remove chiles with slotted spoon and place in blender.
  7. blend the chilis and spices until it becomes a smooth sauce, adding cooking liquid as needed. 
  8. Add salt and maple vinegar to the sauce and taste for salt preference


  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. Cut Roast into 1” cubes.
  3. In a Heavy Cast iron Dutch Oven, add oil and bring to Med/High Heat.
  4. Carefully add Meat cubes and sear until caramelized. 
  5. Add Birria Sauce and cover pot
  6. Place in hot oven and cook for 3 hours with lid on 
  7. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 min.

Enjoy as a hearty stew with fresh toppings like onion, cilatnro, oregano, lime and serve with fresh tortillas, or serve as tacos pulling meat from sauce and using sauce to dip tacos into!

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