Posted by: A Part of the Solution | January 15, 2013

Buffalo-Bacon Chili

Who doesn’t like good chili? Though defining that chili’s ingredients is likelier than not to start a range war in some parts of the country. Is chili cooked pork with a pepper sauce? Is chili beans and tomatoes? Is chili beef and jingoistic regionalism? Settle your chili disputes outside, please.

I make chili this way because I like it. And you don’t have to use bison in this chili either. It works well with any of the leaner ground meat on the market: emu, turkey, 92% lean beef. If you must use a super-lean ground for your chili, then do yourself a solid and cook it as low and as slow as you can to tenderize the flesh and impart depth to your finished flavor. Add the bacon crisps back to the pot to cook for the last hour.

Yes, you can let this one simmer in a slow-cooker all day, on low with the lid ajar to release some of the condensation and thicken up your lovely Buffalo-Bacon Chili. It’s what’s for dinner.

Buffalo-Bacon Chili

6 slices bacon (for a veggie version, you’ll want 2 TBSP unrefined peanut oil, or canola, 1 tsp hot sesame oil, a few drops of liquid smoke)

1 large onion, 2 medium, 4-5 small, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 Anaheims, 5 cherry bombs, 3 Hungarian wax peppers, or 1 green bell, seeded and chopped

3 jalapeno peppers, carelessly seeded and chopped

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin, ground

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 Tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, or other hot sauce

1 lb ground bison, or other lean meat, or an extra can of beans

1 12 oz bottle of beer

2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable, or beef

3 14 oz cans of beans, cannelini or kidney or pinto or great northern or black…. or combos

1 28 oz can tomatoes, crushed

soy sauce or salt to taste

Heat a dutch oven on the stove top. Chop the bacon coarsely and add it to the dutch oven. Turn the heat down and stir only occasionally as the bacon renders out its fat. This takes about 20 minutes. Pull the bacon out with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Bring the heat up to medium. Add the onion to the pan. Let the onion sweat about five minutes. Add the peppers. Cook another five to seven minutes. Add the garlic and the seasonings through the hot sauce. Let this cook together another five minutes. Now add the ground bison in pieces about the size of the top joint of your thumb–smaller if you’re a big guy. Cook the bison, stirring only occasionally, for about five minutes.

Add the beer and the chicken stock. Bring them to the simmer and let them cook for about twenty minutes. Add the beans and let the chili come back up to a simmer. Now add the tomatoes. Bring the chili to a very low simmer (with a gas stove, you may need a flame tamer) and let it cook for about three hours–or in the slow cooker all day on low.

Tasty with sour cream on top, just as good over baked sweet potatoes, or with a garnish of chopped cilantro, or grated cheese, or slivered pickled jalapenos. It’s chili. You’ll like it.

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