Bison and Bean Chili*
2 TBSP olive oil
2# ground bison
1 15.5 oz can of red kidney beans OR chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped OR 1 ancho pepper seeded and chopped
2 TBSP flour
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice OR 7 large tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water, plus more as needed
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 TBSP unsweetened baking cocoa
2 TBSP chili powder
½ tsp smoked Serrano chili powder OR ¼ tsp habanero chili flakes (or less) for heat
- Heat a large pot on the burner on medium heat, add the olive oil. When the olive oil is shimmering, but not smoking, add the bison. Sauté the meat until it’s almost done.
- Add the garlic, onion, and green pepper. Continue to cook until the onion is translucent.
- Whisk together the flour and water, then add the slurry to the pot, stirring to incorporate.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and all the spices, stirring constantly.
- Bring pot to the boil, then turn the heat down until chili is just simmering on the stove.
- Let the chili simmer uncovered, stirring every ten minutes or so, until the tomato and tomato sauce break down, changing in color from bright red to dark brick red. This may take up to 70 minutes. Add water to the chili to keep the volume about the same as when the simmering started. DO NOT let the chili dry out or stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the color change has occurred, (ensuring the acids have cooked out of the tomatoes) taste the chili. Add salt, pepper, or chili powder as needed to balance the flavors.
- Add the beans or chickpeas to the pot, stirring to combine. Keep the heat on until the beans reach the same temperature as the chili, perhaps 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve chili hot, with your shredded cheese and chip of choice as a garnish.
Tips and Tricks
Peeling fresh tomatoes isn’t a giant headache if you know how to deglove them. Fill a small saucepan ¾ full with water and bring it to rolling boil. Fill a larger bowl ¾ full with ice water (cubes and all). Put each tomato in the boiling water for a minute, submerging with a spoon if necessary, then place each tomato in the ice bath for ninety seconds. The tomato skin should split and remove with ease.
The green pepper added to this chili could be any large fleshy green pepper. Anchos are a bit smoky, bell peppers are sturdy but plain, a large
more heat. Do what works for you. Anaheim
This chili can be spicy or just savory, but the cheese should complement it. If the chili is spicy, and you want to mellow it out, use charp cheddar cheese. If the dish needs a little kick instead, pepper jack cheese works well.
You can garnish this chili with lime chips if you want, ALaw. No one will judge you.
*This recipe adapted from one in Killer Chili by Stephanie Anderson (from a recipe provided by the Cougar Ranch Bed and Breakfast Lodge in
It’s not the same thing, but it’s where I started from. Credit where credit is due. Missoula,