Buffalo Chili!? Yep, Buffalo Chili.

(first off – apologies for the long await for a new post. a few weeks of vacation and house guests temporarily halted my posts. vacation is done, now, though. so anyways….)

Me and the fellow recently took a break from cloudy, chilly northern California and made our way to my parent’s place in sunny, warm southern California.

The culinary significance of this is that my parents have – hands down – the sweetest kitchen around. Thus, before visiting, I spend my sleep time dreaming of all the things I can do in there. When I arrived, I raided the fridge and freezer and found some bitchin’ (my new favorite word) items. Included in these items was fresh-from-the-farm ground buffalo. What to do!?

Meatballs? Lasagna? Pizza topping? Chili!

You could, of course, always substitute beef or turkey, or whatever the hell you want for the buffalo, but if its available, I strongly encourage using it. The corn – you have to use fresh off the cob. It adds the perfeft crunch and sweetness. Your chili will suffer in a big way if you choose canned or frozen. Its unacceptable.

Also, put 2/3 (or so) of the spices in just after the onion and garlic but before everything else, let them cook for about 3 or so minutes, stirring just a little. This will toast them, making them more aromatic and flavorful.

I’ve made the resolution to include more pairings, so try it with a hoppy California IPA beer (try Lagunitas) if you make it real spicy (hops cut heat) or a delish smoked beer (Rauschbier) if you can get your hands on it. Good picks might be Allagash Burnham Road or Smoke Ale from Rogue. If you’re a wine drinker, try a Spanish Grenache.

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Buffalo Chili

    1lb ground buffalo
    14.5oz canned stewed tomatoes (fire roasted are best)1 white onion, coarsely chopped
    3/4-1.5 cups beef or veal stock
    1 white onion, coarsely chopped
    2 pasilla peppers, roasted, seeded, peeled and chopped (see below)
    1 cup chopped carrots
    2 strips of bacon, uncooked and coarsely chopped
    2 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
    2 ears worth of fresh corn kernels

    1t mexican oregano
    1t cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on your heat desire)
    1T chili powder
    1T chipotle powder
    1t mustard powder
    1T cumin
    1T juice from canned jalapenos

    1T olive oil, butter or bacon grease

    Mild cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
    Tortilla chips


    1. In large pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, garlic and uncooked bacon until onions soften
    2. Mix in 2/3 or so of the spices, stirring a bit til aromatic
    3. Add in buffalo meat, tomatoes and carrots, let it cook for 8 minutes, or until the meat looks less pink
    4. Pour in half of the broth, stir, let cook for another 8-10 minutes
    5. Start adding in the rest of the spices, stirring
    6. Add peppers and jalapeno juice
    7. Slowly add broth, remembering its going to cook down and thicken so do it slowly
    8. Get all the spices in there, cover it and cook nice and slow on medium heat, about 20 minutes
    9. Add in corn and stir til it tastes good
    10. Salt and pepper to taste and mix in
    11. Top with cheese and the crumbled bacon, add the toppers you love (mmmm avocado!).

    Eat it!

    *To roast the peppers, heat your oven to 400, coat the peppers in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on the top shelf until starting to brown and bubble on the outside. Let them cool and you should be able to easily pull the skin away. Easy as A-B-C!