August 9, 2010

Bison in a Chard Blanket

Q: what does a mama buffalo say to her son when he goes to school?
A: Bison!!!!!!!!
Bison in a Chard Blanket
aka this ain't your mom's cabbage rolls!

Two reasons spawned this recipe, one I received a bunch of chard from my CSA and wanted to do something new with it, make it more the star and less the side dish. Secondly I went to get ground lamb at the store and all they had was Bison...make change where change need be. I feel that ingredients should be variable so please omit, and submit things you like.

...makes 8-12 rolls depending on how much you stuff...
1 lb Ground Bison (grass fed beef or lamb is great, goat if you got it, turkey if you're into it)
A Bunch of Chard, 8 large stems (swiss, rainbow anything that looks good)
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 C. Brown Rice cooked 
1/2 C. Tomato Sauce Organic sugar free (don't forget to check)
1/2 onion diced
1 leek soaked and diced
1/2 bell pepper diced (your choice)
5 mushrooms sliced
half tomato chopped for the inside, half sliced thin for the outside
1-2 Cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 C stock (whatever you have laying around, or water)
any fresh herbs you have laying around (thyme, parsley, basil ect all is good)
salt (i prefer sea salt) pepper to taste
red peppers if you like a bite
a nice jack or cheddar for the top (I used a local California garlic jack)

Step 0: Before you begin start cooking your brown rice, make extra it's good for left overs. Also start a pot of boiling water and turn on your oven to 375˚
Step 1: use the EVOO (thanks Rachel Ray) to saute the onions, leeks and garlic. Once soft add bell peppers, mushrooms, and finally tomatoes, red peppers, S & P and herbs. Cook till they are tender but not to mush...remove from pan and set aside.

Step 2: In Same pan enters the Bison (what a noble creature) let it cook till med rare and drain the little fat in the pan.

Step 3: Add cooked brown rice, and sauteed veggies to the meat mix in well, then put enough tomato sauce in the mixture to dampen it (great culinary term, I know). You should be able to do this with your spoon, if not maybe add more rice, you don't want it too wet.
Step 5: Prepare your Chard by cutting off the thick stems, and dunking them into the boiling water for 45 sec. this will help them be more flexible when you are rolling them, remove them and place them on plate veiled with a paper towel and gently stretch the leaves straight. when task is completed top with a paper towel and place in freezer (a quick way to shock them back to green and stop the cooking). <>

Step 6: CONSTRUCTION!!! think dolmas, joints, burritos whatever lets do it! Get out a Casserole dish and put stock on the bottom (about 1/4-1/2"), I used chicken here  (aides in keeping the rolls moist). Place the chard on a flat surface add about 1/4 C. or more of the mixture (depending on how crazy you may be) and roll the up, folding the edges as you go. Place in the dish, seam side down.

I had some extra stuffing so I gutted some extra mushrooms and stuffed them.

 Step 7: Let's dress 'em up!!! Put a small amount the tomato sauce on the top of each roll to make sure they don't dry out while baking, then stick a slice of tomato on top of that. Cover with foil and bake for about 25-30 min. Once they are pretty much done, (the tomato on top will let you know, if it still has juice and skin it can go a few more, if its shriveled and dead looking it, you have gone to far. Go somewhere between there.) put some cheese on top and crank the oven to 450˚ for a few min. just to brown.
Step 8: The Sides, tonight it was Patty Pan squash from the CSA box, I sauteed them in EVOO with garlic, a bit of lemon and fresh thyme, S&P and a dash of butter to finish them off, oh yeah red pepper flakes too!
Step whatever: Plate and eat!!!!
tastes better than it looks.

hope you enjoy...


  1. this looks delicious! i'm sending it to my mom... mickey and cecelia love bison! she makes a mean bison meatloaf!

  2. ohhh that sounds good, maybe a swap time