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fall is here: slow cooked bison chili

Posted on September 29th, 2011  |  3 Comments

Fall is my favorite time of year. Obvious reasons of course, I mean who doesn’t like wearing layers and drinking hot cocoa while cheering on your favorite football team?

Don’t like football? Fret not, Fall also means pumpkins, squash, hay rides, bonfires cute hats and warm hearty dishes.

Fall Dishes Take 1: Slow Cooked Bison Chili

Bison, you don’t say. Why yes I did. I’m totally down with the buffalo. Way leaner than ground beef and when your buying from the farmer, well, it just doesn’t get much fresher than that. Low ‘n slow is his recommendation for cooking it, and what’s lower and slower than chili…

Start by heating evoo in a large dutch oven, or the like. Next, grind black pepper right into the oil. This very important step per Lui (my husband) and I tend to agree. He says it’s necessary to release the true full flavor of the pepper. Sounds ’bout right, I’ll go with it.

After seasoning the bison, place it, seasoned side down, in the oil.

Let it sear for a few minutes and then start breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Also BTW, a nonstick pan is NOT what you want to be using making this sorta meal. It’s all about the stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Once it’s at least 90% cooked, remove the bison from the pan….

To make room for the veggies! (yeah I love my veggies) I used onion, green and yellow bell pepper, and a Hungarian yellow hot pepper – which I did not know was hot before I nearly burned my tongue off. I gotta ask more questions at the farmers market thought it was a banana pepper. Whoops. Good thing I didn’t touch my eyes.

After letting all that jazz get itself all merry together it’s time to add a highly underrated ingredient (imo), tomato paste. Throughly integrate the paste with the veggies and let it cook a little, but be careful not to burn it (stirring necessary.)

All that’s left to do is crack open some cans, add back in the bison, pour in a little water, and sprinkle more spice.

Bring to a bubble, cover and let it simmer, for a while. At least four hours, make sure to stir every so often, even on low the bottom can burn a little in a dutch oven, those babies sure know how to hold the heat.

Don’t have a dutch oven? Toss all this into a slow cooker, quick searing the meat before hand for a little extra flavor, leave on low for 8-9 hours, and you’ll get the same result… maybe even better, though that’s a tough call.. this is DANK!

As always all veggies are substitutable, chili is the perfect dish to go bonkers with spices and flavors.

Fall, we’re glad you’re here. Please stay longer than a month!



slow cooked bison chili

makes 4-6 servings

1 lb. grass-fed ground bison, at least 20 minutes removed from refrigerator

1 Tbsp evoo

*1/4 tsp cinnamon

*1/2 tsp sweet paprika (or smoked would be awesome)

*1/2 tsp garlic powder

*1/2 tsp sea salt

*1 tsp cumin

*freshly ground black pepper

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

1 can Trader Joes Cuban style black beans (or use regular black beans with some green chilies)

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

4 oz. tomato paste

1 Tbsp evoo

1 onion, diced

2 bell peppers, diced

1 Hungarian yellow hot pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 c. filtered water

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cumin

dash cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper

1- 2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 bay leaves

1. In a large dutch oven heat oil on medium heat, add black pepper. Season bison, and add to pan, seasoned side down. Sear for 3-5 minutes before breaking up with a large wooden spoon.

2. Once browned, remove bison from pan, add other Tbsp of evoo, onions and peppers. After a few minutes add the garlic, be careful not to burn, lowering heat if needed.

3. After about 5-7 minutes of sautéing, but not browning, add tomato paste and throughly mix with veggies.

4. Next add all cans, water and remaining spices, plus the bay leaves.

5. Bring to a bubble, cover and lower heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 4 hours.

6. Enjoy with your favorite toppings like sour cream or goat cheese with freshly diced onions. OR.. grill a hot dog, add some chili, squirt on mustard and diced onions. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Welcome Fall :)

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3 Responses

  1. Barb says:

    We are so proud of you Laurie,
    These dishes look great!!

  2. Deana says:

    Oh my gosh, this is the absolute best chili I have ever had!!! I added a can of corn, two jalapenos, and a few more cloves of garlic (bc I can’t get enough!). I also had never really worked with bison a whole lot. So thanks to you, I’m hooked! Thanks so much for the awesome awesome recipe!!

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