Bison and Chipotle Chili

Bison is one of the leanest of red meats and has a rich, yet mild flavor. If you can’t find it, ground sirloin works well in this recipe too.

At my house, we like things spicy, so this recipe is built around smoky, hot chipotle peppers and fiery habanero chiles. You can adjust the heat to your own taste – for instance, substitute the habaneros with a jalapeno, or, to make it even milder, use a small, green bell pepper, chopped.

If you don’t want to cook dried beans from scratch (all you need is time), you can substitute canned kidney beans. Be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the chili. (Or skip the beans altogether and enjoy Texas-style chili!)


For the Chili

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground bison (or ground sirloin)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can stewed tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2-1/2 tbsp chile powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • sea salt

For the Beans

  • 1 cup dry kidney beans
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


For the Chili

  1. Heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the bison, garlic, chiles, and habaneros and cook 5-6 minutes, breaking up the bison as it cooks.
  2. Add the tomatoes with juice, chipotle peppers, broth, chile powder, and ground cumin and season with salt.
  3. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook slowly for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the cooked beans (recipe below) about 30 minutes before the chili is ready.

Divide among 5-6 bowls and serve.

For the Beans

  1. Place the beans in a medium pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.
  2. Drain the beans, rinse, and return to the pot. Add the broth and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook slowly until tender, about 1-1/2 hours.

Source by Pamela Steed Hill

Related Posts