Bison Chili

Bison Chili

Bison Chili

The key to any good chili is to avoid using canned kidney beans. Although convenient, for the most part the canned varieties have a texture on par with mashed potatoes. They are complete disaster if the chili is frozen then thawed and reheated. Do yourself and your family a favor, use the dry variety instead. It only takes a couple of minutes to set them up for overnight soaking.

3 1/2 cups
1 tsp
2 tbsp
2 cups
1 cup
1 tbsp
6 tbsp
2 tsp
2 tsp
1/4 to 1/2 tsp
2 lb
2 x 28 ounce
2 x 14 ounce

dry kidney beans, soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water
cooking oil
chopped onion
diced celery
minced garlic
large sweet red pepper, diced
chili powder
ground cumin
cayenne pepper (more if you like it hotter)
ground bison
cans of diced tomatoes (regular salt content)
cans of tomato sauce (regular salt content)
small cans of tomato paste


  • Drain the kidney beans that have been soaking overnight.
  • Put them in a large pot with enough water so that the water level is one inch above the beans.
  • Add 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat, continue to stir very occasionally, and cook until beans are tender firm, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Drain the cooked kidney beans and set them aside.

  • While kidney beans are cooking mix together the chili powder, cumin, and oregano.

  • Put 2 tbsp cooking oil in an 8 quart Dutch oven.

  • Over medium to medium-high heat sauté the onion and celery until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and sweet red pepper. Cook for another minute or two.
  • Reduce heat if necessary - do not allow the garlic to brown.

  • Stirring constantly, add the chili powder, cumin, and oregeno combination.
    Continue to stir until the spices become noticeably aromatic, usually 30 seconds to a minute.
    Remove from heat, sprinkle and blend in desired amount of cayenne pepper. Start small, you can always add more later if necessary.

  • Return Dutch oven to medium hot burner; immediately add ground bison. Break up any bison meat that clumps and continue cooking and stirring until completely brown and no pink remains - about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and set aside kidney beans. Stir to combine. Over medium heat allow contents to come to a slight boil. Check cayenne seasoning-add more if necessary.

  • Partially cover Dutch oven. Maintain low heat so chili is just barely simmering. Stir occasionally. Simmer for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crusty French bread.

  • Flavour improves if refrigerated overnight and reheated the following day.
  • This chili also freezes well.