Make Your Own Bison Ribs with Wojape Sauce

Taste the heartland

A plate of bison ribs with wojape sauce from Sean Sherman's The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen.

photo by Philip Breker

Bison Ribs

serves 4 to 6

1 Tbsp. ground juniper

1 Tbsp. salt

1 Tsp. ground sage

4 to 6 lbs. bison ribs

1 cup water

½ cup Wojape (see recipe)

Wojape Sauce

makes about 4 to 6 cups

6 cups fresh berries—chokecherries or a mix of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, cranberries, blackberries

1 – 1½ cups water

Honey or maple syrup to taste


Preheat the broiler or grill to high. In a small bowl, combine the juniper, salt, and sage and rub over the ribs to season. Grill both sides of the ribs under the broiler or on the grill until a firm crust forms, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to 250°F.

Place the ribs bone side down on a rack and set in a roasting pan; alternatively, set the rack on a deep baking sheet. Add a cup of water to the pan. Cover or wrap tightly with foil and roast for 2 hours. Turn the ribs over, cover, and continue roasting until the meat is very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the ribs and scoop about ¼ cup of the pan juices into a small bowl and whisk in the Wojape. Brush the ribs with the Wojape sauce and return to the grill or run under the broiler to glaze the meat, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the ribs to a cutting board, allow them to rest a few minutes, then cut into serving pieces and serve with additional Wojape.


Put the berries and water into a saucepan and set over low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. Taste and season with honey or maple syrup as desired.