Bison Chili
  • 3 1/2 cups dry kidney beans, soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 lb ground bison
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 x 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 x 14 ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 small cans of tomato paste
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like it hotter)
  1. 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 them until they are tender firm, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain the cooked kidney beans and set them aside.
  2. While kidney beans are cooking prepare the onion, garlic, red pepper and celery. Set the prepared vegetables aside in one medium sized bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine the chili powder, ground cumin seed, oregano, ground coriander seed, and cayenne pepper.Set the bowl of spices aside.
  4. Put 2 tbsp canola oil in a heavy bottomed 12-quart stock pot. Over medium to medium-high heat sauté the prepared vegetables for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is just beginning to soften.Add the set aside spices to the stock pot. Stir and cook for about a minute or until the spices begin to colour and become aromatic. Immediately add the bison meat. Break up any bison meat that clumps, and continue to stir and cook for 10 minutes.Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat immediately. Simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add cooked kidney beans and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes or until desired tenderness in beans is reached. Serve with crusty French bread.
  5. Note: Flavour improves if refrigerated overnight and reheated the following day. This chili also freezes well.
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 favour, use the dry variety instead. It only takes a couple of minutes to set them up for overnight soaking.