Monday, February 15, 2010

Big bowl of winter: Buffalo Chili

With a package of ground buffalo packed away in the freezer from our meat CSA and the wintery mess outside, a steaming pot of chili seemed like the perfect choice last weekend. Besides, anything that should be topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream before serving is a winner in my book.

Buffalo Chili
Adapted from Whole Foods

1 Tb olive oil
2 lbs. ground buffalo meat
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped (optional; Anaheim is less spicy)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/4 Tb chile powder
Sea salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
2/3 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 Tb brown sugar
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tb adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 bunch green onions, green parts only, sliced in rounds, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese for garnish

In a medium sized pot (about 4 quart capacity), heat oil over medium heat and add ground buffalo. Brown meat, stirring occasionally and breaking up large chunks, until all pink is gone, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pot and discard excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot.

Bring back to medium heat, add onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and Poblano or Anaheim (if using) pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom from time to time to get all the browned bits of meat folded in with the vegetables. Add jalapeño pepper and cook for another 3 minutes stirring from time to time. Add garlic, cook for another minute and then add cumin, oregano, coriander, salt and pepper. Let spices cook for another minute, stirring.

Return browned meat to the pot. Stir in tomatoes and beef broth, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, adobo sauce and bay leaf, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, taste sauce and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat to a slow simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 minutes. Add beans and continue simmering, covered, for another 10 minutes or until beans are warmed through.

Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, grated cheese, sour cream and/or green onions.

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