This is Not Texas Chili

This is not Texas chili because Texas chili does not contain beans. If I had my way, this would be all bison, tomatoes, and chiles, but my economic state being the case, this is “Michelle-is-poor-but-still-promised-you-bison” chili. But it was still good.

I can’t say that this is a hard and fast recipe because I never make chili the same way twice. Once could argue that this is the way it should be, since chili was born out of poor man’s ingenuity. Inexpensive meat and chiles come together and stew for hours, and the details are up to you. My reasoning is that I haven’t found the “perfect” chili recipe yet, but I think I’m getting close. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m not getting any closer if I keep putting beans in it. Such is life.

  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 9 oz dried pinto beans, rinsed, and soaked overnight (they will cook as the chili itself cooks)
  • 1 can low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 can rotel (original)
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, skin removed, and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 ancho chile, emptied of seeds, ground in a coffee grinder (we have a spare grinder we use only for non-coffee purposes)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • a few dollops of barbecue sauce
  • the rest of my Worcestershire sauce (about a tbsp)
  • about a tbsp of cumin
  • about 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • about a tsp of Mexican oregano (all I had left)
  • about a tsp of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toss everything in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, or overnight.

Serves 8, about 200 calories per serving

I topped mine with a grating of Organic Valley Sharp Cheddar and ate two servings of cornbread as a side.

I used Homesick Texan’s recipe for skillet cornbread, with a few minor modifications (used whole wheat pastry flour instead of the all purpose, and I’ll get to the buttermilk issue in a second…). I’ll be honest, I’ve never ever made cornbread from scratch. The only other times I’ve made cornbread, it came out of a jiffy box. This method was way more fun! It probably would have tasted better if I used real buttermilk. I didn’t have any, and frankly have never bought any, and decided to do what everyone else does when they have no buttermilk: make their own by replacing 1 tbsp out of every cup of milk with white vinegar and let it sit on the counter for a bit.  I don’t know what to expect when making or using buttermilk, so I’m not sure if I did something wrong, but the cornbread came out a little vinegar-y. Otherwise, though, it tasted fine, especially smeared with butter. I’m actually thinking right now how I could turn the leftovers into some awesome breakfast creation!

And for dessert I mixed up a batch of cookie dough Thursday night and stored it in the fridge until I was ready to bake it last night. Honestly, why haven’t I thought of this before?? I have no reason to ever go out and buy cookie dough ever again!

I used a recipe out of the Taste of Home cookbook that I, once again, adapted. I replaced about 40% of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour, and since I didn’t have enough chocolate chips, I replaced some with butterscotch chips (OMGOSH!), and since I didn’t have enough of those either, I added some crushed walnuts.

They look a little like Halloween cookies! I love it! And everyone loved the cookies. 🙂

And off topic… look who decided to show up last night!!

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