bison chili

We've had a little blip in the weather around here...one week it was summer, the next week - not so much.  The cooler temperatures outside (which are temporary, I hope) made me crave something warm and satisfying.  I decided to make a batch of chili; it's easy to put together after work and makes enough leftovers for the next day or lunches.  Also, we have LOTS of ground bison in the freezer, so I decided this would be a good recipe to start using some up! 

This recipe was adapted from my grandpa's recipe that was passed down to me.  I think I make it a little different each time, depending what I'm in the mood for and what I have on hand.  Feel free to add more veggies or beans and adjust the spices according to your own taste. 

Bison Chili

  • 1 lb. ground bison (or extra lean ground beef)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 28 oz. canned tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 7 oz. can of pork & beans
  • 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp chili powder (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add a few tbsp olive oil, then scramble-fry the ground bison with the onion and garlic.  Once the meat is cooked, drain off the excess liquids.  Increase the heat to high, then add the canned tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and beans.  Stir in the vinegar, chili powder and ground cumin.  Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour.  Season with salt & pepper to taste, or add more cumin or chili powder. 

Serve the chili with whatever toppings you like: some grated cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips....