Bison Bolognese

Bison Bolognese

For a successful Bolognese, use a Dutch oven (enameled cast iron, like Le Creuset) or a very heavy pot that retains heat. You don't have to use bison, just substitute beef or even ground pork.

Serves 4-6 


1/2- ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1 T olive oil

1 onion, very finely chopped

1 stalk celery, very finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and very finely chopped

1 clove garlic, very finely chopped

1  pound ground bison or beef

1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup red wine

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2-3 sage leaves

1 bay leaf

3 cups chicken or beef broth

14.5-ounce can  Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes


1 pound fettucini or pasta of your choice

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan



Put the porcinis in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Reserve.

Prep the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Everything needs to be totally minced so it melts into the sauce. Chop and chop some more.


Set a 3-quart Dutch oven or heavyweight saucepan over a medium high flame and add olive oil. When warm, add carrots, onion and celery and sauté until the veggies are a bit soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant.


Add ground beef and sausage. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt to draw out the moisture from the meat.  Break up the meat with a wooden spoon, stir well and cook until the meat is cooked through


Turn the heat up and add the wine. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the alcohol is cooked off. Add the parsley, sage and bay leaf. Add the tomato sauce and broth. Stir well. Bring to a simmer.


Remove porcinis from their soaking liquid, reserving liquid, and chop coarsely. Add to sauce.


Turn down to lowest flame possible and simmer, uncovered, for a minimum of 3 hours*, stirring from time to time. If the sauce dries out add 1/2 cup of water or porcini liquid whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left. Taste and correct for salt.


At dinnertime, cook and drain the pasta and toss with tablespoon of olive oil. Add the Bolognese and Parmesan and toss. Serve immediately.

* If you cannot maintain a sufficiently low or gentle simmer, pop the sauce into a preheated 250 oven.