Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bison + Black Bean Chili

I'm a grocery store guy.  Seriously, on average, I'll bet that I go to the grocery store at least two times per day.  For those of you that loathe your weekly shopping trips, I probably sound like a lunatic.  Yet, for me, the grocery store is one of the most interesting places in the world.

After all, it's pretty amazing to think about ALL of that food sitting on the shelves.  Where did it come from?  How did it get there?  

However, as amazing as today's global economy has become, there's still something to be said about eating local and knowing about your ingredients.  In fact, we've seen a lot of Starbucks going, black turtleneck wearing, vegan aggressors supporting the "local movement" for quite some time.  Calm down people, it's just food.

With that said, I do love the fact that even the largest grocery store chains are taking risks.  By risks, I mean carrying foods other than the traditional chicken, beef, pork, and frozen seafood that most consumers are looking to purchase.

Bison, as many of you have now seen, can be readily found in most grocers next to the ground beef.  For those unaware, Bison has less fat, calories, and cholesterol than beef - while also promoting a denser concentration of protein, iron, and B vitamins.  Still not convinced?

Bison has a rich beef flavor, similar to that of grass-fed, organic beef.  Quite frankly, I've served this chili to many of folks who never knew the difference.  Of course, a good bold chili is a great way to introduce new meats to those unfamiliar.  Reminds me of the time I served up a heaping bowl of squirrel chili to a group of sorority girls . . . kidding.  But, you get my gist.

Anyways, here's my recipe for an outstanding, healthy (sans the cheese and sour cream) bison and black bean chili.

Enjoy!

MM

Bison + Black Bean Chili –  (Prep 20 minutes, Cook 1 hour, Serves 4 – 6).

1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced
1.5 lbs Ground Bison
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin Powder
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Cup Dark Beer
1 28 oz Can Tomato Puree
1 28 oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 14 oz Can Black Beans
1 14 oz Can Kidney Beans
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (topping)
Sour Cream (topping)
Sliced Jalapenos (topping)

Preheat a Dutch oven over medium heat; add oil. Next add onions and sauté for 8 - 10 minutes, or until tender.  Add garlic and jalapeno peppers and sauté until just tender, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Add ground bison and seasonings and cook until meat is just browned through, about 4 - 5 minutes, stirring on occasion.  Deglaze the pot by adding the beer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a spoon.  Finally, add the remaining ingredients, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer partially covered for 30 - 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve with desired toppings.

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