I'm still on my quest to try at least one new recipe per week. Okay, I think this is week 3. But I'm doing better at this resolution than the "lose 15 pounds" one. With that in mind, I decided to make a healthy dish that also incorporated stuff I had on hand (mostly--I did need to buy some red bell pepper and ancho chiles). I did have some ground bison in the freezer. And, since it was bitterly cold this weekend here in the Midwest, I wanted a something warming and stew-ish. This recipe is slightly tweaked from a Cooking Light (June 1999) recipe I found on the web.
Buffalo Chili (about 8 servings)
1/2 pound dried black beans (I used Black Nightfall from Rancho Gordo)
10 cups water, divided
1 dried ancho chile
1 Tbsp light tasting oil (olive or canola)
1 pound ground bison*
1 cup chopped onion, about 2 medium
1 or 2 cloves minced or pressed garlic (use 2 if small)
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika (I used smoked Spanish paprika, because that's what I had)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28-oz can diced, undrained tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
1 12-oz bottle dark beer (I used Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout and drank the extra!)
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Rinse beans and place into Dutch oven, cover with water to 2 inches above beans, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, return beans to pot, add 8 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender (black beans might take 30-40 minutes, the ones I used took an hour). Drain and set aside.
Bring 2 cups water and ancho chile to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes or so. Drain, remove seeds, and chop. Set aside.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat, add ground bison, and brown meat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Add carrots, red bell pepper, and celery. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Then stir in cumin, oregano, paprika and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add ancho chile, tomatoes, beer, and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmerm for about 30 minutes. Stir in beans and tomato paste and cover, cooking for another 15-30 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt, and black pepper. Serve or (even better) reheat it later after the flavors have truly melded.
My verdict--good, not heavy, very filling, a nice basic, healthy standby recipe. I like that I can eat a large bowl of it and not feel heavy or gross. Nothing brilliant here, but that's not what I look for in a bowl of chili anyway. I had some for dinner last night and again for lunch (tasted even better today!) In fact, it'll be lunch for the rest of the week--being a singleton with a busy career, that's a godsend. No "need" to go for the crap served at some of the on-campus dining options.
* I used grass-fed, antibiotic-free bison from Miller's Bison Farm. Yes, it's a shameless plug, but if you find yourself in Indiana, you might want to check out their buffalo-pork summer sausage. Yum! Especially the hot (as in spice, not temperature) variety. I'm not a relative, just a happy customer of theirs.