Southbound Bison Chili by James Czar and Mary Beth Weaver
Prep Time 30 mins, Cook Time 6 hrs, Ready in 6 hrs 30 mins (but chili is always better the next day).
INGREDIENTS: (NOTE: organic ingredients are preferred)
2 lbs lean ground bison (90/10 or better if possible)
NOTE: Bison or American Bison (Bison bison) is the correct term for the "American buffalo," which are not actually buffalo, though bison meat may be labeled as buffalo (a colloquial term in this case). Just make sure it's from America, otherwise you might be eating Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) or African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), and we can't tell you if that would be good or not.
4 cups tomatillos, petite cut (fresh or canned)
2 cups red tomatoes, petite cut (fresh or canned, 15oz cans are about 2 cups)
13 oz of fresh/frozen green chiles, diced (New Mexico/Hatch mild green chiles preferred)
1 sweet white onion, diced
1 tbsp dried ancho chile powder (or fresh anchos – exact number unknown – experiment!)
3 tbsp dried chipotle chiles, crushed (or 2 tbsp dried chipotle chile powder)
1 tbsp salt - divided (second tsp is "if needed")
2 15 oz cans of black beans
1 15 oz can of pinto beans
5 tbsp fresh jalapeños, minced
3 tbsp garlic, minced
6 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely minced (or 2 tbsp dried)
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 15 oz can of whole yellow sweet corn (no salt added)
1/2 cup green onion, petite sliced
3 medium limes (or equivalent ReaLime concentrate – 3 tbsps per med lime)
1 12 oz bottle Dos Equis Amber (or other Vienna lager)
Great Lakes Elliot Ness or Samuel Adams Boston Lager are fine substitutes, but Dos Equis keeps with the theme. DO NOT
use Dos Equis Special, or any Helles lager, American-style lager, or a pilsner! Vienna lagers were brought to Mexico
in the late 19th century by Austrian immigrant brewers.
OPTIONAL recommended extras for serving:
~ 1 cup green onion, petite sliced, ~ 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese, 1 bag blue corn tortilla chips (light or no salt)
• Cut all veggies to have ready to go for drops. Note: petite cut is between minced and diced; chop veggies as directed.
• Ingredients will be added to a 4 quart pot in "drops," so that some things (like beans and corn) do not cook too long.
• Brown bison meat in skillet (about 10-15min), using only a cup and a half of water – no other spices/oils/ingredients.
Use a potato masher to keep the meat from clumping while it's cooking. Lean bison should not have much grease, let
meat cook down until very little liquid is left, and drain it along any grease (the water helps remove the grease).
• First drop can be started while the meat is still browning, to save time. Add meat when ready.
Drop 1: tomatillos, tomatoes, green chiles, white onion, ancho powder, chipotles, 1 tsp salt
• Let it cook 2 hours on low heat (about 2 on dial), stirring frequently.
Drop 2: black beans, pinto beans, jalapeños, garlic, cumin, cilantro, vinegar
• Dump entire contents of cans in, water and all. DO NOT rinse beans. Use a little warm water to get the "bean sludge"
out of the bottom of the cans, and dump it in. Water from cans creates a watery mix, so let it cook down on just
medium low heat (about 3½-5 on dial) for 2 hours. Stir frequently (but gently, as not to break the beans).
Drop 3: corn, 1/2 cup green onion, 1 tsp salt (if needed), lime juice, 1 bottle Vienna lager
• Drain corn before adding. Add this portion of salt only if needed (no extra salt or less if serving over salted tortillas).
• Let it cook 2 hours on low heat (2-3 on dial) or more if necessary to cook down extra liquid, stirring frequently (but
gently). Cook down so it's not watery, yet still viscous. It should not need crackers to soak up the juice when served.
Serving: Serve in bowls with a small handful of crushed tortillas underneath (instead of crackers), a healthy sprinkle
of cotija cheese and green onions on top, and 3-4 tortilla chips stuck the sides for garnish.