Bison Chili


Although I love the long summers here in California, one of my favorite things about the colder months are the foods that warm your soul: chili, soups and stews. Recently, I’ve been purchasing ground bison (bison, buffalo – same thing) at Costco since it’s comparable in price to ground beef at the grocery store. It’s also a superior meat. It tastes better overall, it is tender, less fatty, and not filled with hormones. I’ve made bison meatballs, bison sloppy joes… if you make it with ground beef, you’ll love it even more when you make it with ground bison.

1 pound ground bison
3 bell peppers, diced (any color will do fine)
1 large onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, finely diced (remove the ribs and seeds if you don’t want much spice, or skip it all together)
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cans Chili Beans (pinto beans in sauce)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt, plus salt for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 small bundle fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Cooking oil

In a large pot over medium high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add onions and jalapenos. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until onions begin to soften. Add bell peppers. Stir and cook 3-4 minutes, then add garlic. Allow garlic to cook about 3 minutes, or until very fragrant. Remove onion and pepper mixture to a separate bowl and return pot to stove.

Add and heat about 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add ground bison meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break up with a spatula and cook until completely brown. When browned, remove meat to a colander to allow excess fat to drain away.

Return meat to the pot and onto the stove. Lower heat to medium. Add onion mixture back in. Add everything else. Bring to a low boil. Lower heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer about one hour. Season to taste.

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