Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweet and Smoky Bison Chili

So we're deep into fall football season, yet in DC it hasn't gone much below 60 degrees. But when I realized that 12 people would be at my house for college football Saturday, I thought well, guess it's time to pull out the chili! Chili always reminds me of the fall, cold autumn nights, and college football. Or football in general.

There are many ways to make chili. Some believe it should never have beans. Some like it spicy. Some like it sweet. Some like it with ground beef, while others like turkey or sausage.

Well this chili has a little bit of everything for everyone. Although I will say that if you don't like heat, I wouldn't try this. It's not super spicy by any means but if you don't like a somewhat spicy chili, then I'd suggest making the chili I make in my chili half smokes recipe. Just omit the half smokes.

This chili combines bison meat, cannelli beans, kidney beans, guajillo peppers, and a bunch of other surprises to make a rich and deep chili. It does require a bit of cooking time to really get all the flavors going, but that's how it goes with all good chilis.

I recommend serving this with some good cornbread (I made some but failed to take pictures....will do next time) and shredded cheese. Oh, and beer. And football. If you are into those things, like our household.

4 guajillo chili peppers, stemmed and seeded and rehydrated (you can find the dry ones really in almost any grocery store)
1 T water peppers were cooked in (more below)
1 t anchovy paste
2 T olive oil
2 sweet onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chili powder
2 T cinnamon
1 t curry
1 t cayenne pepper
1 lb bison meat
10 T tomato paste
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
2 large tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
2 T ground black pepper
1 large (29 oz) can of kidney beans
1 14 oz can cannellini beans
3 C beef broth
2 T cocoa powder
3 T cornmeal
salt and pepper additional to taste

Rehydrate the chili peppers. This basically just means heat up a pot of water to boiling, enough to just cover the peppers, add the peppers and reduce the heat to low and cover the peppers in there for about 10-15 minutes.

Put the peppers a container with the anchovy paste and 1 T of the water that the peppers were cooked in. You can add more if you need to if the mixture isn't combining well. Combine well with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender or food processor.

In a large pot, heat up the oil on medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and the garlic. Once they have softened, add the chili powder through the cayenne pepper.

Stir for two minutes and then add the bison meat and cook until the bison meat is broken down and browned. Add the chili paste made with the peppers.

Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat to simmer (low) and cook for at least a few hours.

Stir occasionally throughout the cooking time and taste to see if you want to adjust the taste. Add more cayenne, cocoa powder, cinnamon, or cumin. It all depends on how you want the flavor to be. And chili is incredibly forgiving. If you want the chili to be thicker you can add more cornmeal, about 1 T at a time. Let it take time though, it will thicken.

Once it's done, serve with some cheese, or chips, or raw onion, or whatever you want on your chili!!

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