Cherokee Tribal Food Distribution Program

Buffalo, Hominy and Bean Hot Pot with Blue Corn Pan Pone

Buffalo, Hominy and Bean Hot Pot with Blue Corn Pan Pone

Watson Harlan
This dish is a hearty home favorite, and sure to fill. Buffalo meat makes this stew a heavy and filling meal with hominy and your choice of beans. Making use of canned foods is something that many find to be difficult, but just a bit of seasoning evens out the flavor, especially if you drain and rinse well. This really is a variation on chuck wagon beans, and is perfect to dip your bread in on a cold or rainy day. Corn pone is simple, pairs well with many things, and is an easy side to make even with few ingredients and little time. This dish is perfect for beginners.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Cherokee
Servings 4


  • 1 lb bison
  • ¼ onion diced
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 can hominy
  • 1 can beans
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • pepper
  • sage
  • salt
  • 1 cup blue cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • water
  • 1 tsp cooking oil


Blue Corn Pan Pone

  • Mix equal parts flour and blue cornmeal into a mixing bowl. Add warm water and stir continuously to avoid lumps. Continue to mix until the consistency is mild, and just a bit thicker than pancake batter.
  • Set the eye for the pan on medium, do not place it on the eye yet. Place just a bit of cooking oil in the bottom of your pan, and then either by shaking the pan gently or carefully with a cloth, spread the oil until you have a thin layer on the bottom of the pan that doesn’t pool at all.
  • Drop the batter into the pan, and form palm sized pancakes, and let cook until the edges are dry, and the bubbles on the top have popped. Flip and let cook through. Place finished cakes on a paper towel to dry.

Buffalo, Hominy, and Bean Hot Pot

  • In the large soup pot, pour a small amount of oil and set to medium low. Add the diced onion and stir gently, allowing them to become soft and clear, and release their flavor into the oil. Add part of your black pepper, and let it become fragrant.
  • Add ground bison and brown slowly, allowing it to blend well with the onions. Add garlic and sage. Stir well.
  • When your meat is browned, add the hominy and beans, draining and rinsing them before adding them. Next, add tomatoes. At this step, corn or mushrooms make a great addition if desired.
  • Add warm water or beef stock if you prefer, until you have a nice mixed broth making sure to taste before serving, and stir until mixed and hot. Serve with pone, and enjoy.


Cherokee Eating and Setting
Cherokee food culture is central to the idea of Gadugi. Everyone needs enough, and everyone deserves food. When guests come over, hosts often cook something even if it isn't meal time. It is just as rude to not eat this offering as it is to not make one in the first place, and is a display of friendship between people. Demonstrating that you would eat and share food with someone is one of the basics that makes us human, and so it is a large element of culture is the serving and presentation of food.
In the pre-Christian periods, eating was something done when you were hungry, and every council house had some type of pottage or soup cooking on the fire, kept by the Fire-Keeper, usually an older woman who was in a position of respect in the town. Breakfasts were either light or not eaten, and in summer months, rest was taken after the midday meal. Dinners went late, and were often accompanied by festivities like dancing, storytelling, singing, and music. Henry Timberlake records that Cherokees living in the town of Chota in the 1760’s regularly would stay awake until two or three in the morning feasting, dancing, and singing, only to get up at dawn the next day, and take rest in the afternoon. This practice fell out of favor during the nineteenth century due to the work cycles of European-Americans becoming the default timetable that many worked on.
Nowadays, food is still just as important to our culture as it once was, and by cooking at home and making meals for others, we can have a bit of control over an important aspect of our food. In a world of great convenience and instant delivery of goods and services, it is a special thing to take time to eat and cook at home, and should be treasured.
Keyword beans, buffalo, corn

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