Bison Chili

I did a survey last week,  and got some good insight into you guys: most of you have been around for more than a year (aww), you actually try some of the things you see here (even though I want to boost that number) and you prefer poultry and seafood. Same! But,  I don’t want to ignore the red meat eaters out there.  Since we’re hoping to get outside,  why don’t we make something that takes us back to an open fire. We’re making chili–but unlike last time,  there’s no competition to enter… just pride. (This would have won).

I’m using ground bison this time,  and really working on flavors since the meat is leaner than beef. Charred peppers, dried chilies, and bacon will do the trick here.  Then hominy, tomato and pinto beans will help to stick the landing.

Once you render the bacon, sear the meat, and add some guajillo paste for flavor.  How do you make that? Easy- blend onion, and soaked guajillo chilies until smooth,  and toss it in. I’ve done this with garlic and chillies before, but it takes more effort, and I’m trying to dial it back this week!


Go ahead and season to taste,  then add your charred peppers, beans, corn, and tomatoes. Once it begins to thicken,  top it with stock, cover the pot, and let it do it’s thing. You don’t have to worry about it burning or sticking for a while–especially since the heat will be on medium by now. Of course, you should still pay attention to it, but…here’s your chance to be lazy.


Let that simmer for an hour…or two,  and season as you go. You’ll notice this one isn’t spicy– but you’ll taste some delicious smoke flavor thanks to the charred peppers and bacon. You might not taste it at first,  but as the excess water boils off,  the flavor will get stronger. It tastes even better the next day.


This chili will fill you up, but you’ll notice pretty quickly that it’s much lighter than typical chili with beef. If you’re like me, you’ll probably top it off with some chimichurri, and cotija cheese. The choice is yours.

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

2 lb ground bison

1/4 lb Smoked Bacon, minced

1 Onion, diced

4 Guajillo Chilies, soaked

1 Bell Pepper, diced

1 Poblano Pepper, diced

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, diced

3 Cups Hominy, cooked

3 Cups Pinto Beans, cooked

5 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1/2 Cup Cilantro, chopped

1/2 Cup Parsley, chopped

1 Tbs Paprika

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Dried Thyme/Rosemary

1 Tbs Onion Flakes

1 Tsp Marjoram

1 Tsp Coriander

  1. Combine the onion, and guajillo chilies in food processor, and pulse until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  2. Fry the diced bacon in a large pot–stir often until crispy.
  3. Season the bison with salt, cumin, and onion flakes, and add to the pot. Once browned, add diced peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and deglaze with the guajillo paste. Season with coriander, and dried herbs.
  4. Top with beef stock, then add beans, hominy, fresh parsley and cilantro. Cover, then simmer for 1-2 hours, or until thickened.
  5. Plate, and serve with chimichurri, and cotija cheese.




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