Homemade Lasagna with SunRise Ranch Ground Bison

SunRiseBuffalo

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my third cooking video “E03 Buffalo Lasagna” and just now realized that it might be super helpful to have the actual written recipe posted to go along with the video. I am so excited to share this lasagna recipe with you all. This recipe blends together a simple homemade tomato sauce with umptious cheesy goodness and light, flavorful ground bison. I really prefer using bison in place of ground beef for several reasons; bison is not greasy, it has a lower fat content and it is a very healthy protein.  The bison adds the meaty richness that you want in a homemade lasagna without adding the grease and fat that can accompany this dish.

My ground bison for this recipe came from the SunRise Ranch, out of Ramah, Colorado. These folks were selling at the Golden Farmer’s market (you can also find them at the Gilpin and Arvada Farmer’s Markets) and have a variety of bison and poultry products. You can purchase any cut from a bison tenderloin filet to short ribs and various roasts. SunRise Ranch prides themselves on caring for their animals naturally and does not use growth hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products when caring for their animals. Check them out at one of the various farmer’s markets in the area or visit their website at http://www.sunriseranchllc.com/index.htm to learn more about the ranch and order any cuts you desire.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2  onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
  • 1 pound SunRise Ranch ground bison
  • 2.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2-28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 9 lasagna noodles (you may want to throw in an extra 1 or 2 noodles in case one tears)
  • 1.5 cups of Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep pasta water by filling a large pot with water, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and setting on high heat.

2. In a large sauce pot, saute onions for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and continue to saute for an additional 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute bison meat, breaking up any chunks. Allow the meat to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until it has just turned brown. You need to be cautious not to overcook bison. Because of its lower fat content it cooks faster than ground beef and can dry out if overcooked.

4. Add all the tomatoes to your sauteing onions, add oregano, parsley and basil. Add cooked buffalo. Mix your sauce well, cover and turn the heat to high so that the tomatoes begin to bubble gently.

5. Once pasta water is bubbling, add your lasagna noodles and cook until al dente (approximately 6 minutes). Once pasta is al dente, drain noodles and set aside to cool.

6. Once your sauce has been bubbling away for about 10 minutes, add half a cup of grated parmesan cheese and 1.5 tablespoons of tomato paste. These two ingredients will make your sauce richer and bring out deep tomato flavor and nutty Parmesan flavors. Cover and continue to cook sauce for another 10-15 minutes on high, stirring occasionally.

7.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, add your ricotta cheese, 1 egg, .5 teaspoons salt and .5 teaspoons pepper, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried parsley. Mix until well blended.

8. Remove sauce from heat and begin layering your lasagna. Spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray. Add 2 ladle-fulls of your tomato sauce, evenly spread around the bottom of the pan. Top the sauce with 3 lasagna noodles laid lengthwise in the pan, place 2 heaping tablespoons of herb and ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and spread the cheese along the noodles evenly.  Sprinkle a handful of mozzarella over the ricotta, followed by 1-2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

9. Repeat the sauce-noodles-cheese layering process until you have 3 completed layers. Top the layers with 1-2 ladle-fulls of sauce or whatever remains, making sure that you cover every noodle end, and top the entire lasagna with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Top with a sprinkle of parsley leaves.

10. Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove foil and let lasagna bake for an additional 5-10 minutes uncovered. You can also broil the lasagna at a low broil for an additional 5 minutes to get a golden crust to your lasagna. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and mangia!

 

 

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