Bison Chili

We all have questions that we’d like to know the answer to—everything from philosophy to silliness to random pestering. Today, I’d want to talk about one of my problems.

To what extent are they distinct species? As benign as the inquiry may seem, the lack of knowledge that comes with endless childhood trips to zoos makes it all the more alarming when you finally uncover the answer.

We can all agree that buffalo were gorgeous beasts who swam through amber waves of grain on the broad plains. However, the most frequent “buffalo” species can be found in Africa and Asia, not America.

After nearly being hunted to extinction, the American Bison has rebounded and is now being reared for its meat. Additionally, they’ve been crossbred with domestic cattle to produce the “Beefalo” breed! Bison, or as the American Buffalo is known, is the subject of our attention today.

Bison is delicious, so don’t write us off as many neo-hippies. Your typical beef lacks a certain richness and depth of flavor that this offers. My folks discovered the excellent bison steak on a recent cross-country journey and brought back a tiny stash of ground bison.

A robust, spicy, and peppery chili was the next obvious step from my ideas of the broad plains, cowboys, and other Oregon Trail sensations.


  • 1 pound ground of bison(450g)
  • 2 onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (no seed)
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 6 oz. of tomato paste (1 small can, 170g)
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • ½ tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of black pepper
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 can of kidney beans (15 ounce can, rinsed and drained, about 250g rehydrated)
  • 1 can of pinto or pink beans (15 ounce can, rinsed and drained, about 250g rehydrated)
  • 28 oz. of crushed tomatoes (800g)
  • 3 cups of chicken stock (700 ml)


1. Set a large soup pot to a medium-high setting in the stovetop oven. Add the ground bison and brown it, breaking it up with a wooden spatula (if your bison doesn’t have enough fat to prevent sticking, you can add a couple of tablespoons of oil). Bison should be served with onions and garlic once it’s been cooked. Salt and pepper to taste and cook until transparent.

2. Bell peppers and jalapeño peppers should be added next. Allow the peppers to simmer for five minutes before serving. Cumin, cayenne, paprika, and adobo sauced chilies are good additions. To assemble, give everything a good stir. This is the time to add the crushed tomatoes, both cans of beans, and chicken stock.

3. Reheat while constantly stirring to avoid scorching. Allow the chili to simmer for an additional two hours on low heat. A sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and tortilla chips complete each dish before it’s served!

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