Winter Buffalo Chili

Due to my absolute terror of beef in this country I was never much of a chili maker until my friend Jesse made chili one night with ground buffalo meat. This completely converted me partly because of how much safer and better for you buffalo meat is as well as how much I love the gamey flavor. What I love about the clip below is the farmer discussing how cows are like dogs and buffalo are like cats, which for some reason made me like them even more.

This recipe is one that I have been working on for over a year. I was pretty excited today when for the fourth day in a row it really felt like late fall here in NYC which required the first pot of winter chili. The key to a good chili is time, no one wants to hear that but it’s true and even as I type this I am resisting eating it before it has had its full 2 hours to simmer. Though cornbread is the traditional side to serve with chili, what I like to do is a get a good whole grain loaf of bread, cut it into chunks, shred cheddar cheese over the top and broil it until the cheese is bubbling. Then I ladle the chili over a portion of this. As accoutrement I do recommend crème fraiche and cilantro.

Buffalo Chili

1 lb ground buffalo meat

1 large white onion diced

2 bell peppers diced, I used one yellow and one red because that was what was at the market

2 large tomatoes diced

2  12 ounce cans garbanzo beans

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 garlic cloves crushed with a knife, I pull them out at the end

2 12 oz bottles of beer, I used a Porter

3 tablespoons Ancho Chili powder

2 tablespoons hot paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium high heat, once hot add the onion and cook until softened. Add the buffalo meat and the crushed garlic cloves and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the spices and stir well. Add the peppers, tomatoes and 1 can of the beans. Add both bottles of beer and the salt and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. An hour into the cooking process add the last can of beans. You can add them both at the same time, but I like the difference in textures. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the chili is at desired thickness. This chili is pretty hot, to keep it cooler drop the one tablespoon of chili powder.

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