Bison Bolognese

by Ann on May 8, 2009

Bison Bolognese

Grass-fed bison is lower in fat and calories than beef, turkey and chicken!  All my life, I never liked hamburgers but for some strange reason, bison or buffalo, doesn’t taste so meaty, yet, the flavor is meaty enough that most hamburger lovers still really like bison as well.  For some reason, when I got pregnant I suddenly loved hamburgers for the first time in my life and I still eat them now, but I much prefer the less intense flavor of the bison or buffalo.  I usually substitute bison for hamburger in recipes to make it healthier and taste better (for me personally).  Check around grocery stores for pricing because it changes all the time and the prices are quite different from place to place.

I love making bolognese from scratch knowing what goes into my sauce.  This recipe is based off The Silver Spoon cookbook but as usual, I modified it significantly and added much more tomato.  If you want yours saucier, add even more.


  • 3 TB butter
  • 2TB olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (I didn’t have onions this day so I threw in some frozen pearl onions)
  • 1 1/2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium-sized carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 16oz bison meat
  • 2TB tomato paste (add a little water to the paste)
  • 1 14.2oz can San Marzano tomatoes


  • Put onions, celery, carrot and garlic in food processor and grind until carrots are fine. 
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a shallow pan on medium, add ground vegetables and heat for a few minutes stirring with wooden spoon.  Add meat, stir periodically until meat is cooked. 
  • Add remaining ingredients and cook over low for 1 1/2 hours.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Warning!  This bolognese isn’t too saucy so don’t think you can add a whole box of whatever type of pasta.  If you accidentally add too much, add some more tomatoes or whole milk with lots of cheese then add more salt to taste.  This sauce would be best over some soft polenta as more of a gravy sauce.  I also think it would be great slicing some french bread in half, scooping out some of the inside to leave more of the crust crunch, toasting with a little butter and adding a slice of provolone or havarti and then topping with sauce…served open-faced.

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