Butternut, Bison, and Bacon… oh my!


Butternut squash, stuffed with Bison, Green Onions, and Celery; Topped with Green Onion/Balsamic Glaze and Parmesan Shavings

Butternut.

Recently, I picked up a beautiful butternut squash from the Farmers Market.

Brainstorming.

I also had just seen a very interesting recipe that included one of these autumnal veggies. After reading it through, I began to stylize it like most foodies have a tendency of doing:

“oh, wouldn’t it be great if I added…” “hey,  I should swap out this for that….”

and of course, “I definitely need to DOUBLE the bacon!”

Bacon: That delicously-delightful,  salty-smoky, crispy goodness that makes so many things better.

mmm. Bacon.

Bison.
Also known as  American Buffalo, bison has become a favorite of mine. At the bottom of this page are a few reasons why you will probably want to try it.  I purchase “Great Range” brand at Ralphs, and I’ve seen other grocery stores that sell ground bison as well. It comes in a hermetically sealed 1 pound package, so it’s not that difficult to find. If you can’t locate any, or if you already have ground beef in the fridge, go ahead and switch it out. Actually, it would probably work with ground pork or turkey as well. Hey, go crazy, and have fun with it.

This recipe can be Paleo.
This recipe can be Gluten-Free.
Just be sure to read the notes that tell you what to omit, in order to keep up with these dietary needs.

So on with the recipe!

Bacon-Bison Butternut

1 Butternut Squash (2 lbs)
1
bunch Green Onions, divided
2 stalks Celery
12 pieces of Bacon
¾ lb. Ground Bison
Pink Salt
Ground Pepper
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon (no, this is NOT a typo)
2-3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic Glaze* (optional)

Parmesan** (optional)
*(if you omit the balsamic glaze, this will be gluten-free)
**
(if you omit the parmesan and balsamic glaze, this will be a Paleo dish)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Halve squash lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Place squash halves face down in baking pan with about ½” of water. Cook for 40 minutes.

The butternuts, enjoying their jacuzzi tub

Chop the green onions, and put ⅓ of them in a bowl for later use.
Chop celery. Add to the remaining green onions, and set aside.

Chopped green onions and celery, with ⅓ of the onions set aside for later use.

Cook bacon in skillet, blot with paper towels, and set aside.
**Note: do not snack on these, unless you make twice as many to begin with.

You know you’ll be snacking on it, so you may as well make the whole package.

Sauté green onion & celery mix in bacon drippings. Say it with me: MMMMMMM.
Add bison meat, and stir till it’s completely cooked through.

Sautéed green onion & celery with bacon drippings and bison meat.
Who says grapefruit spoons are just for breakfast?

Cut the squash into little chunks and add to the bison mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cinnamon.

Yes, all of the cinnamon.

Really. You can do it.

You may want to double check for salt one more time.

Place butternut bowls on their backs, in their original baking pan, and fill each with the bison mixture.

Don’t press down the filling too much, or it won’t cook properly.

Bake the butternut in the oven again, this time for 20 minutes.

While it’s baking, sauté the remaining ⅓ of the green onions in balsamic vinegar.
Note: If you want a thicker sauce, you can add a splash or two of balsamic glaze, however, then it will not be gluten-free.

To serve, top with onion glaze.

*Optional: you can also top it with a few parmesan shavings, but then it won’t be 100% Paleo.

Topped with green onion/balsamic glaze, and parmesan shavings

Monkeynotes:

If you haven’t cooked bison before, here are some of the reasons why you may want to start:

1. Grass-fed bison has an excellent taste. Similar to prime beef, but more tender, and  a bit sweeter.
2. One quarter-pound of ground bison contains 20 grams of protein.
3. Bison has a greater concentration of iron than other meats.
4. Rich in Omega-3.
5. 90% lean.

This is a pretty straight-forward, satisfying dish that really has a deliciousness to it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this recipe, and if you choose to make it, please give me your input – thanks! 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Butternut, Bison, and Bacon… oh my!

    1. I love Whole Foods – they’re so good about carrying quality meat products 🙂 I just called the WF store in Pasadena and the butcher let me know that they have ground Bison in the 1-pound packages for $9.49, and Rib Eye steaks for about $20/lb. I hope this helps, Wayne 🙂

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Gigi 🙂 Hmmm… I do know there are more companies around the country that sell Bison – perhaps you may be able to find one that isn’t? And, if you’re able to find one, by all means share any info you may come across 🙂
      In any sense, the good part to remember is that this recipe can be made with any type of ground meat, or you could even omit the meat altogether, if you’d like.

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      1. Exactly, that’s why I still LOVE your idea! 🙂 I just wanted to make sure that you know about that bison! It’s delish though, lol… I actually buy grass-fed/finished bison from North Star Bison, and have been doing so for the past 10 years. The owner Mary is SOOO passionate about the products she sells and they’re… DELICIOUS! ha ha. I highly recommend you check it out. And if you do order, let me know what you think!

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