October 04, 2010

Bison Meat Sauce


The resulting meat was moist and tender. The smallest amount of bacon fat was key.



"Did you taste it?"


"How is it?"

"It's good."

I pulled a small piece of meat from the colander. "Mmmm. This is good."


It's very lean, I remember her saying.


"Bring fruit salad." She said.

Our introduction to bison came about four years ago at my mothers home on the banks of the Susquehanna. A Mother's Day cookout with all the usual fair: mom's cole slaw; aunt Terri's deviled eggs; uncle Mark's crab dip; and the list goes on and on.

"I can really taste the quality." Said my cousin John as he speared fresh strawberries and grapes using plastic picnic ware.

"Ha. Ha." I said.

Mom brought a tray of partially charred hotdogs and bison burgers to the picnic table. I began assembling my plate. Hamburger role. Bison burger. Tomato. Onion. Mustard. Ketchup. Mom's cole slaw. Aunt Terri's deviled eggs. Uncle Mark's crab dip. Fruit salad.

Roberto followed suit, as much as his Italian upbringing allowed. The Italians don't go for mayonaise-based salads so much.

Once seated, I closed the bun and after a few bites of bread and condiment (the burger had reduced in size by at least a third above the hot coals) I bit into bison and found myself pleasantly surprised. Eager for seconds.


Roberto readied the mise: olive oil; butter; bacon; ground bison; carrot; celery; onion; garlic; crushed red pepper; red wine; tomatoes; tomato paste; parsley; and cream.

"Let's use the De Cecco egg fettucine." I said

Roberto nodded in agreement. Picking the right cut was important. I had nailed it.

Finally...We've waited so long to use you. My body stretched skyward, tippy-toes and all, to retrieve the box.

"8.8 ounces? I always thought it was a pound." I said while ripping open the package.


"Taste it." He said.

"Oh, this is so good. A pioneer's meat sauce." I said. "Can I drop the pasta?"

"Yes." He said.


Roberto plated. A hearty mound of egg fettucine dressed in sauce, then kissed with just a bit more, was finished with a sprinkling of green onion and Paremsan.

"This is delicious." I said. "Do you like it?" I asked.

Roberto looked up, his mouth full. "Mmmm hmmm." He said.

The steam wafted as I sat hunched over my bowl. I twirled another mess of noodles. "Mmmm."

Roberto rose for seconds. "There's plenty more were that came from." He said.


  1. Ohhh, what a gorgeous sauce, Tracy! :-) Bison meat makes me think of growing up in Canada where you could see them roaming about. :-)

  2. You two have been rocking the pastas, lately! Also, "a pioneer's meat sauce' - I love that.

  3. Tart - Thank you :) That's a nice image, roaming bison.

    Denise - Oh yes! We're having leftovers tonight and probably tomorrow night. I've been thinking about it all day.

    Jess - I kept thinking pioneer the entire time it was cooking. It felt so rustic and basic, hearty and good.

  4. Bison Bolognese, wow! Looks delicious.

  5. I have been tricked by those dang DeCecco egg pasta boxes too! Not a pound at all!! Tricky tricky

    I have eaten bison burger and really like the sweeter taste of the meat. I can only imagine how delish it would be your sauce....very nice work!!

  6. That looks positively delicious. If we hadn't made so many ragus in the last few weeks I'd insist on making this during the coming weekend, but I'll save it for a really dreadfully cold day.

  7. Oooh, I love this idea. I've come to really like bison burgers, and even a good bison steak at our favorite restaurant, but haven't played with it much at home. A sauce sounds just perfect!

  8. Bison! I watched a programme about someone farming bison here in the UK, so I might get to try it. It looks really tasty.

  9. I am discovering your blog which is very interesting, original, with absolutely beautiful pictures...

  10. Michele - Leftovers are keeping us very happy this week :)

    nancy - De Cecco, Barilla...We've been weighing our dry pasta each night and the boxes are all falling short of 16 oz.

    elizabeth - Perfect for a dreadfully cold and rainy day!

    Katie - It's so hearty and good. I highly recommend.

    Kath - It is tasty. I hope you give it a try.

    Pascale - You've put the biggest smile on my face, thank you :)

  11. Simply beautiful! The perfect marriage of pasta and sauce. I must say, Bison meat sounds interesting. The best ragu I've ever had was wild boar over pici in a tiny restaurant in Siena. I'm salivating after looking at the fabulous pictures on your blog! :-)

  12. Oh what a wonderful sounding sauce. I love the ideas of you putting together all these goodies on your plates and then the pasta. Good sauces are so hard to come by. Luckily, I just ate, otherwise coming here would be torture ;-)

  13. It is looking and feeling like autumn here - even though yesterday was so humid and heavy it was hard to breathe - and so thoughts turn to ragu and slow cooked meat sauces. This looks superb and sounds quite delicious - not that I have ever had bison meat but would like to. The smallest amount of bacon fat is always a good thing. Good pictures TP.

  14. Your posts make me so hungry. Loving this one too!

  15. Karen - A tiny restaurant in Siena sounds perfect right about now. Thank you for your lovely comment :)

    Vanessa - Can you believe we still have leftovers? Roberto's mother surprised us with rice cooked with chicken and zucchini last night, so tonight I will happily reheat the last of it. Dinner seems so far away...

    rachel - I can't wait to see what you cook up when the weather turns frightfully cold. I'm in need of some inspiration :)

    tiina - I should post a warning. I suffer from that very same side effect. I just ate lunch, yet my stomach is grumbling for pasta.

  16. this sounds so delicious!
    I've never had chance to try a bison meat, but my good friend swears by it...
    you and I have the same taste if it comes to comfort food, so I might even finally consider it :)

  17. M. - Do consider. It's a very nice meat :) Btw, speaking of comfort food, I made brownies last night...

  18. My stomach is growling. Baby needs iron and I know a bison sauce would really hit the spot right now! xo

  19. I've been meaning to by some bison at our farmer's market ever since we started eating meat in March, but I haven't done it yet. I'm thinking short ribs to braise, though, so I think I've just put it on hold until the temperatures cool off a bit more.

    This looks delicious! It makes me crave bucatini!


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