Bison Chili (My Mama’s Chili, Part 2)

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Over two years ago I posted a recipe that was a slight spin of my mom’s traditional chili she’s made for what seems like forever. I mean… it’s so old school it’s on an index card. Slightly worn down and the ink a bit faded, you can tell it was a popular dinner choice.

Tried and true, I didn’t change this recipe all that much- just switched out turkey for bison, and a few slight adjustments on spices. Oh, and a few shortcuts on the recipe, because I always feel like I’m in a time crunch.

My Mama’s Chili, Part 2
Makes about 8 servings.

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2-4 large carrots, chopped

  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 pounds ground bison or beef (I like 90% lean)

  • 2 28‐oz. cans crushed tomatoes** see below for suggestions

  • 3 cans beans (I like to do an assortment of red kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans or cannelini beans), rinsed and drained

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

Heat a large sauce pot over medium‐high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan, and add in onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for a few minutes, until onions are translucent and celery and carrots are slightly wilted. Add in a bit more olive oil, and add in the bison and crushed tomatoes. Cover, and let cook until bubbling.

As soon as it begins to bubble, lower heat to a simmer, and add in all the spices and beans. Simmer, partially covered, for about 45 minutes.

Optional: Serve with tortilla chips and cheese, and microwave for 1 minute for the cheese to melt.

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