Friday, October 22, 2010

Microbrew Bison Chili

Shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures: time for soups, stews and chilies.
This chili uses healthful bison/buffalo meat -- much less fat and saturated fat than beef, and you really can't tell the difference in this preparation. Lots of veggies and two kinds of beans makes it a nutritional powerhouse. The addition of a bottle of dark beer gives a depth of flavor you'll love. Have more of the same beer with the finished product, if you like.

Recipe: Microbrew Bison Chili

Serves 6-8


3 T canola oil, divided

1 large onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

½ cup diced green pepper (optional)

3 T good-quality chili powder

½ teaspoon chipotle powder, or more to taste

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 large can diced tomatoes, preferably no-salt-added

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 cup water

1 pound ground bison (buffalo)

1 bottle dark beer, such as stout

Salt, to taste


1. Heat 2 T of the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add next five ingredients (onion through green pepper) and sauté, stirring frequently, until veggies start to soften, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in chili and chipotle powders. Add next 5 ingredients (black beans through water) and stir well. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 T oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add bison and cook, crumbling meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When the meat has no pink left in it, remove with a slotted spoon and add to the chili.

4. Stir in beer, and add more water if you want a more soupy consistency (leave it as is if you prefer stew-like chili). Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and let the chili simmer for at least 15 minutes to let all the flavors combine.

Season with salt to taste.

Serve over rice, with corn chips or (my favorite) cornbread. Pass a bowl of grated jack or cheddar cheese at table, if you want. You can freeze any leftovers and have it again on a cold November night.

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