This bison ragu is a rich and hearty comfort meal. This Italian classic is made with ground bison instead of ground beef and chopped bacon to make this delicious meat sauce even better! The perfect make-ahead recipe comes together easily and requires only a few simple ingredients. Serve over tagliatelle noodles with Parmesan cheese for the best comforting dinner.
Pasta and meat sauce is a great go-to for busy weeknights. It’s simple to make, and everyone always loves it. This hearty bison bolognese is slowly simmered for 2 hours, but it will be worth the wait. Made with ground bison, bacon, tomato sauce, and dried herbs, this savory sauce is full of flavor and will soon be your family’s favorite dinner!
How to make ground bison ragu
Start with your vegetables. Chop onions as tiny as possible, shred carrots and finely chop celery. Add chopped bacon and minced or chopped garlic. Its amazing how such simple popular ingredients create such an amazing dish! Saute ingredients with oil in the heavy bottom pot for about 7 minutes, stirring. All the veggies need to be very tender and fragrant.
Add ground bison and break it up either using a special tool or simply a spatula. Now its time to add other ingredients. I used red wine (only use that kind of wine that you would drink out of glass), beef broth, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Tomatoes and wine when cooked together create amazing delicious sauce.
Add dried oregano and basil. If you have fresh herbs its even better! I didn’t add any salt because the beef broth i added was already salted. You can add more salt to taste later.
Bring pot to a low heat, close the lid and cook for 1,5 hours to 2 hours. Stir couple times during cooking. Meanwhile cook pasta. Traditionally tagliatelle noodles are use in ragu but you definitely use another kind of pasta noodles. It will be delicious either way!
What is a ragu?
Ragu is a broad term in Italian cuisines used to describe meat and tomato-based sauces served over pasta. It can be made in a variety of ways with a chunk of meat or ground meat like in this recipe. This hearty meat sauce is made with ground meat, vegetables, wine, and tomatoes then slow-cooked until rich and flavorful. It is usually served over tagliatelle noodles, but fettuccine or other wide noodle pasta can also be used.
Ragu is often compared to bolognese sauces, which are made of the same ingredients, but also include milk or cream. Bolognese originated in the Italian city of Bologna and its name means “in the style of Bologna”. Bison ragu is my favorite!
Whether you know this delicious dish as ragu, bolognese, or ragu bolognese it is delicious and makes a hearty and satisfying family dinner!
Does bison taste like beef
Bison or buffalo meat is very similar to beef in taste and texture but with a few key differences. Bison are pasture-raised and because of this, the meat is very lean with less fat and calories compared to farm-raised beef. It is filled with healthy omega-3 fats, and many vitamins and minerals.
It’s softer, slightly sweet, and more tender than beef and makes an excellent source of protein. Bison doesn’t taste gamey like lamb or venison, so if you have picky eaters, they probably won’t even taste the difference. If you never tried bison recipes before, give it try! Look for it next to the ground beef at the grocery store.
Vegetables. Chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic is a classic blend of vegetables when sauteed will provide great flavor to the sauce.
Ground Bison. Can be substituted for lean ground beef. In fact any ground bison recipe can be made with beef.
Bacon. Delicious addition that will add great flavor.
Red wine. Use a wine you like to drink. The alcohol will evaporate as the sauce cooks.
Broth. Adds additional flavor and helps the sauce not dry out. Bison ragu can’t go without some broth!
Tomato sauce and paste. Use a can of tomato sauce without other seasonings. The tomato paste adds richness and a deeper tomato flavor.
Dried basil and oregano. Seasons the sauce.
Oil. To cook the vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bolognese sauce and ragu are very similar. Ragu is an Italian term that refers to a group of meat sauces made with ground meat, vegetables, red or white wine, and tomatoes served over pasta. While bolognese refers to a specific sauce made “in the style of Bologna”. It is made with the same ingredients as ragu with the addition of milk or cream.
Absolutely. Ragu is traditionally made with ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork, so if you have that on hand instead use it! Really any type of ground red meat would work for this recipe, ground venison, elk, or lamb would all be great options.
Bison is very similar to ground beef in taste and texture. They are both versatile and can be seasoned in a variety of ways. Use dried basil, oregano, and thyme or the herbs and spices you like to use with ground beef.
Side dish for bison recipe
Side dish for this ground bison ragu recipe is usually pasta. Tagliatelle, fettuccine, other kind of noodles. If you are not into pasta you can try to serve it with mashed potatoes. I never tried it but i bet its delicious.
Store leftovers in the container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave.
You may also like
- Beef liver stew
- Curry turkey wings
- Instant pot frozen sausage
- Air fryer frozen tilapia
- Baked turkey tenderloin
- Ninja Foodi pot roast
- Slow cooker shredded beef
Hope you will like this bison ragu recipe as much as we do. Please rate the recipe if you made it and leave a comment below if you have any questions or just want to talk!
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 lb ground bison
- 3 strips bacon
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3 cups broth
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Add oil, finely chopped onions, shredded carrots and chopped celery in the medium heavy bottom pot. Add chopped bacon, garlic and cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring.
- Add ground bison and break it into small pieces. Add other ingredients and stir. Cook on LOW heat for 2 hours with the lid on.
- Serve over tagliatelle pasta.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Do no add any extra salt. Beef broth and bacon has salt in it.
- Serve bison ragu over any kind of noodles or even mashed potatoes.
- If you don't have 2 hours to cook, ragu will be pretty good at 1 hour and 30 minutes point.
- Only use good wine, that kind that you would drink out of glass.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 1069mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 37g