Bison Chili Recipe

Difficulty: Easy | Makes: about 16 8oz servings

Beans- Use a bean you like, I still haven’t chosen a best bean for this chili. I try a different bean each time I make it. The last batch I used yellow indian woman heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo. They are the best I’ve tried so far, red beans would be second followed by red kidney beans.

Ground Bison- I grind my own, it’s a mix of about 60% shoulder and 40% brisket. If you can’t grind your own, buying preground bison still makes for a good chili. If you can’t get brisket or another cut appropriate for braising just leave the hole meat out. Again I think you still end up with a very good chili. If you already have a grind you like by all means use it, I’m thinking of adding short rib meat to mine.

Chili Powder Blend- I make a blend of equal parts cayanne, red pepper, and chili powder. If you have a preferred blend go ahead and use it, and let me know how it works. I consider this chili to be a bit on the spicey side. If your worried about it being too hot leave out the tabasco, and only use 1 tablespoon of the chili blend. You’ll end up with a very mild chilli, then you can up the spice a bit each time you make it till you get what you want.

  • 2 lb Ground Bison
  • 1 lb Bison Brisket
  • 1 lb dry beans, cooked
  • 56 oz canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 anaheim pepper
  • 1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 clove garlic clove, minced
  • 3 sprig oregano, chopped
  • 3 sprig thyme leaves chopped
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp coriander
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder blend
  • 2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1/2 cup Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 star anise
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • canola oil
  1. Season brisket with salt, pepper and a bit of the chili blend.
  2. Heat canola oil in a pot/pan suitable for braising the brisket.
  3. Sear brisket on both sides and remove.
  4. Deglaze with the stock, add 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste, and the beer.
  5. Add the brisket back into the pan, the liquid should cover about 3/4 of the meat, add stock if more liquid is needed.
  6. Cover and braise in a 300 degree oven till tender. Should take about 3 hours, I check the meat every hour.
  7. When the meat is finished remove and set aside to cool. when at room temp cover and store in fridge over nite.
    Strain liquid into another container and cool in an ice bath. Then store in fridge. If a fat cap forms (I never get a fat cap with bison meat) remove cap and hold for use instead of oil for preparing the rest of the dish.
  8. The next day:
  9. Tie star anise up in a piece of cheese cloth, then break up with the back of a knife, or the bottom of a pan.
    Heat oil in a pan, add half the onion, and the star anise bag, caramelize the onion. When caramelized remove and discard star anise bag, set onion aside. Wipe out pan, add oil and heat to very hot
  10. While onion is caramelizing press ground bison onto a sheet pan with your hands. You want to flatten it out fairly thin, about 1/4 an inch thick. When you pick it up you want it to come off the sheet pan in fairly large pieces, say about hamburger size, but very thin. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Add pieces of the ground bison to the hot pan. Do not over crowd the pan, do a little at a time. Leave the pieces large till you flip the meat. What we want here is a nice caramelization, a crust on one side of the meat. Once caramelized flip the meat over and break it up into small bite size pieces while caramelizing the 2nd side. The goal here is for the meat to help add some texture to the chili, both thru the caramelization and by keeping it chunky. Repeat for the rest of the ground bison, and set meat aside. Deglaze the pan with the previous days braising liquid.
  12. While cooking the ground meat heat oil in a large pot (atleast 2 gallon) add in the rest of the onion, the carrot, peppers, garlic (all the raw veg in case I missed something), season with salt and pepper and sweat till tender.
  13. Add the rest of the tomato paste and continue to cook till it starts to darken.
  14. Add chill blend, cumin, and coriander and cook for 4 or 5 more min.
  15. Add canned tomato, soy sauce, worcestershire, braising liquid, herbs, tabasco, ground meat, braised meat(cut into small bite size pieces) caramelized onion, honey, beans and any ingredients in the list I may have missed.
  16. Bring to a simmer and simmer for an hour or so. Taste to see if seasoning is needed.
  17. When finished serve (I like it over rice), or cool in an ice bath. I find it freezes very well so I vacuum pack and freeze in 8 oz. portions. Also, it’s one of those dishes that seem’s to be better the next day.

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