The key to any good chili is to avoid using canned kidney beans.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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