This Chipotle Bison Chili is just what the cool days of fall and winter call for. With the smoky flavour of chipotles, the warmth of Mexican cinnamon and the tender but lean flavour of bison, it’s just the kind of fuel we need to see us through this narrow daylight time of year.
It’s also easy to omit the bison all together and turn this into a Meatless Monday meal. There’s lots of beans and vegetables. You could add a bit of cracked wheat, quinoa or tofu in the meat’s place.
But, I love lean Alberta bison. It’s low in fat, high in iron and loaded with flavour. I chop it quite small and by the time this recipe simmers on the stove or in the crock pot for a few hours, you barely have to chew it.
Banana Pepper Cornbread makes a great side. I’ll share that recipe in the next post. Wash it all down with your favourite beer. I drink a lot of the new alcohol-free craft beers now and they go perfectly while allowing me to stay sharp!Print
Chipotle Bison Chili
Smoky heat, tender meat – all you need is a great side salad and maybe a bite of cornbread for a great warm-you-up dinner.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 to 3 hours
- Total Time: 52 minute
- Yield: 6 litres 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican-Canadian
1 Tablespoon olive oil (and more as needed)
2 lbs of bison steak/roast cut into small pieces and/or extra lean ground bison (it’s nice to use a mixture and if you like a meaty chili by all means use a total of 3 lbs of meat)
4 carrots – peeled and diced
2 cups peppers – seeded, diced (use green, yellow or orange)
3 stalks celery – diced
2 large yellow onions – diced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced (Tip: I tried 3 in my recipe testing but that quantity overpowered the dish. Stick with 2 for balanced flavour.)
2 Tablespoons garlic paste
2 heaping Tablespoons (TexMex) chili powder
1 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Mexican cinnamon (aka – True Sri Lankan Cinnamon)
2 ripe tomatoes – chopped
1 can (19 ounces-540 ml) red kidney beans
1 can (19 ounces-540 ml) pinto beans
1 can (19 ounces-540 ml) black beans
1 package frozen chopped spinach
2 cans (28 ounces-796 ml) whole tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup fresh Italian parsley – chopped or 2 Tablespoons dried
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves – chopped
½ cup fresh chopped basil – or 1 Tablespoon dried
4 cups V8 juice – low sodium
1½ teaspoons sea salt – or to taste
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper – or to taste
¼ cup molasses, depending on sweetness desired
1½ Tablespoons hot sauce
¼ cup lime juice
For the Toppings:
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat, add the bison in small batches and brown the meat over medium-high heat, until most of the pink is gone. Transfer each batch to a very large stock or crock pot until all the meat is cooked. Then, in the same frying pan, cook the carrots, peppers, celery and onions over medium heat. Add a splash more olive oil if necessary to prevent burning.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds) then add the chipotle peppers followed by the chili powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon. Tip: the spices might stick a little bit to the bottom of the pan. When the spices are fragrant, stir the chopped tomatoes and allow their moisture to deglaze (loosen the sticky bits) the bottom of the pan. Once the tomatoes are soft, add this mixture to the stock pot and set the big fry pan aside.
- Stir in the kidney, pinto and black beans, spinach, tomato sauce, tomato paste, parsley, cilantro, basil and V8 juice to the stock pot.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, bring to a simmer and then season to taste with the sea salt, pepper, molasses, hot sauce and lime juice. Note: you may need to add more herbs and spices to suit your taste.
- Simmer for approximately 2 to 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning again before serving.
- Enjoy in bowls garnished with a dab of your favourite toppings: sour cream, guacamole, grated cheese, lime slices and/or fresh cilantro leaves. Tip: A side of my Banana Pepper Cornbread and a cold beer are great accompaniments.
This recipe freezes very well.
Keywords: Chipotle Bison Chili