Savory Bison Cheek Pasta - Kosher Bison Cheek Meat

Because Bison chew all day, the meat from their cheek muscles is especially tender and delicious. Cheek meat is perfect for tacos, stews, or delicious pasta such as the recipe below! 

2 1/2 pounds Bison cheek, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 carrot, peeled finely diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups Bison bone broth (if not available, beef broth works fine) 
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms 
1/2 cup finely sliced kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pappardelle pasta

1. Pat-dry bison cheeks with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt, pepper.
2. In a heavy-bottomed oven safe pan, heat canola oil at medium high heat.
3. When oil is hot enough, add bison cheeks.
4. Cook until browned, then remove cheeks from pan and lower heat (Remember, Bison cooks very quickly)
5. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the hot oil in the pan, and cook over medium heat until caramelized.
6. Add tomato paste to pan, and cook for another minute or two
7. Deglaze pan with red wine, use wooden spoon to scrape up delicious crispy bits in the bottom of the pan. Lower to simmer and allow wine to reduce by two-thirds.
8. Add bay leaf, stock and thyme. Simmer for 1-3 minutes while preheating the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Add bison cheeks to pan, cover and remove from heat. Place in preheated oven for 90 minutes to 2 hours.
10. Return pan to the stove over medium low heat (be very careful– pan will be hot!).
11. Add mushrooms and kale to pan, and reduce the mixture until thick and season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.
12. While mixture is reducing, cook and strain pappardelle pasta according to package instructions.
13. Pour bison cheek mixture over pasta and mix to coat thoroughly.
14. Serve and enjoy!