Bison Chili

Bison Chili


  • 3 1/2 cups dry kidney beans, soaked overnight in 2 quarts of water
  • 2 lbs ground bison
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
  • 6 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it hotter)
  • 2 x 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (regular salt content)
  • 2 x 14 ounce cans of tomato sauce (regular salt content)
  • 2 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. Set aside.

  • 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 'set-aside' 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 the '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. Flavor improves if refrigerated overnight and reheated the following day. This chili also freezes well.