This slowly simmered bison bolognese recipe is loaded with amazing flavors. It makes for a hearty, family friendly, and absolutely delicious meal!
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While traditional bolognese sauce uses ground beef, this recipe has been adapted to use ground bison. Ground bison is amazing in bolognese sauce as the earthy flavors in the bison really compliment the celery, carrots, and tomatoes.
You can serve this bison bolognese over tagliatelle, pappardelle, or your favorite pasta. I served this over rigatoni last time I made this since it is the pasta my kids prefer. Be sure to sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top!
Why I love cooking with bison
I am a huge fan of cooking with bison, especially ground bison. I love that bison meat is pasture raised, lean, sustainable, and so tasty!
I usually buy my ground bison in bulk at my local Costco store although I have seen more and more grocery stores carrying bison meat lately.
Why I love this recipe
This recipe is family friendly, loaded with veggies, and just down right comforting.
Can I use a different meat?
If you want to use a different meat like ground beef, you totally can. I recommend a leaner cut of ground beef for this recipe.
What to serve with bolognese
This recipe goes wonderfully with toasted garlic bread and a nice green salad.
What ingredients are needed to make this recipe?
For this recipe, you will need:
- Yellow onion: You’ll want to finely dice your onion. I used my food processor for this.
- Carrot: I used baby carrots because that’s what I had on hand, but one large carrot also works. If using baby carrots you’ll need about 10 to equal a large carrot.
- Celery: You’ll need one rib of celery. Remove the ends.
- Ground bison: The star of our bolognese recipe!
- Ground Italian sausage: I used mild but you can use hot or sweet too, pick your favorite.
- Red wine: You can also use beef broth or apple juice if you don’t have any red wine on hand.
- Milk: I used whole milk.
- Canned whole tomatoes: You’ll need a large can (about 28 ounces) of canned whole tomatoes in juice.
- Tomato paste: You’ll need four heaping tablespoons for this recipe.
- Italian seasoning, garlic, dried parsley, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes: To season the sauce.
- Salt and pepper: I usually recommend salt and pepper to taste.
You will also need a food processor and a large cooking pot.
How to store this recipe
You can store this bolognese sauce in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4 days.
You can also freeze this sauce. I recommend letting it cool and then storing it in a freezer safe plastic storage bag. Lay it flat to save room your in freezer.
Tips for this recipe
- If you have time, let your bolognese simmer on low for the full hour.
- This recipe is freezer friendly so don’t forget to freeze some extras for later.
- Stir the milk in at the end.
- Try using a special meat spatula like this one. This will help you get the ground beef down to very small chunks.
- food processor
- cooking pot (large)
- 4 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 large yellow onion finely diced
- 1 large carrot skinned, stem removed, and finely diced
- 1 rib of celery stems removed and finely diced
- 1 lb ground bison
- ½ lb ground Italian sausage I used mild but sweet or hot varieties also work well in this recipe
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup milk
- 1 can whole tomatoes in juice about 28 ounces
- 4 tbsp tomato paste heaping
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp parsley flakes
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf remove after cooking
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, brown your ground bison and ground Italian sausage. Drain the fat.
- Mince or run your carrot, celery, and yellow onion through a food processor.
- Add to the meat and stir well.
- Run the whole tomatoes through your food processor and add them.
- Add the tomato paste, red wine, and spices. Stir well.
- Cover and let simmer on low for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In the last five minutes of cooking, reduce the heat and pour the milk in.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve over pasta (such as tagliatelle, pappardelle, or your favorite).
This recipe was adapted for ground bison from Spend With Pennies Bolognese.
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