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Bison Bolognese Ragu

Bison Bolognese Ragu

Here’s a rich, savory take on a classic Bolognese that pairs beautifully with the J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah – since some of it is in the sauce! Bison is available in many supermarkets and actually has less fat and calories than beef.


  • 2/3 cup bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 cup smoked sausage, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups ground bison meat (loosely packed)
  • 1 cup J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah
  • 2 cups slow-cooked tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 cups spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
  • grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper for serving


  1. In a large pot, fry the bacon over medium heat in its own fat until crispy.
  2. Add the smoked sausage to the bacon and fry until golden brown.
  3. Next, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  5. In the same pot, add the ground bison meat. Cook until the meat is well browned, breaking it into small pieces with a spatula as it cooks, until it starts to fry.
  6. Deglaze with wine, by adding 1 cup of the J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah to the pot. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the wine has slightly evaporated.
  7. Add the slow-cooked tomato sauce, bay leaves, and rosemary sprig. Mix well.
  8. Reduce the heat and let it simmer on low for about 1 to 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally, with the pot partially covered. If the sauce becomes too dry, add a little pasta cooking water.
  9. At the end of cooking, taste and adjust the salt, keeping in mind that the bacon and sausage are already salty.
  10. Mix the cooked spaghetti with the meat sauce, coating the pasta well with the ragu.
  11. Serve and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.