Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bison Bolognese: A new take on a classic

On this morning's trip to the Durham Farmers' Market, I decided to get some more ground bison. It was such a hit in my bison chili, I wanted to give it another try in a different form. I also recently bought a pasta roller so I figured I'd put both to good use and make a meat sauce to serve over homemade pasta. Although the pasta was delicious, store bought pasta is still great and any variety will work well with this sauce. I made linguine but use whatever you have available--the sauce is the star in this dish. The bison is slightly sweeter than regular ground beef and much better for you. I used fire roasted tomatoes again since that's what I tend to keep on hand but any diced tomato would work. For the red wine, I used a Sangiovese from Italy, which is also great to drink with the meal. When cooking with wine, it's best to use a wine that you would actually want to drink since the flavor is concentrated during cooking. Since it's only 1/2 cup you don't need to feel bad about wasting and then you can drink the rest (with help if you like) to compliment the meal. Although I love the way bison works in this dish, feel free to use ground beef or turkey instead if bison isn't available.

Bison Bolognese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • dash of ground paprika
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pan (preferably with straight sides) over medium heat.
Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic seasoned with the red pepper flakes until they begin to soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add bison, breaking up into small chunks.
Season with salt and pepper, nutmeg and paprika and brown the meat till no longer pink.
Pour in red wine scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan and let cook for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes and oregano.
Turn the heat to low and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the sauce over the pasta of your choice and top with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

For a printed recipe click here

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