As I am currently the only person in my house (except my cat) I wanted to make something that would create leftovers in case I feel lazy this week and don’t want to make dinner one of the nights I am alone. So I rummaged through my freezer and came across a pack of bison and the brain juices got to work. First question what could I make with bison, secondly, what else could I put with it and thirdly, how easy will it be to make?
Bison has fast become a popular meat to use in many dishes. It is a fabulous meat to use as it is leaner than beef but more robust than turkey, which was the previous fore-runner for healthier meat options. The same can be said for sweet potatoes which are more favourable than plain potatoes. Put them together with a few other ingredients and it makes for a great chilli. Chilli is awesome as you can make larger batches and have it for a later day. Also, with this recipe it is all cooked in one pot so clean up is quick and easy.
Chilli has become almost a staple meal in western countries and tends to be a “meat and potato” type dish. It is usually chock full of meat, most commonly beef, legumes such as kidney beans, black beans and/or pinto beans, tomatoes, peppers and chilli powder. This basic version is great and filling but why not change it up sometimes? Chilli can be made to suit anyones diet. It can be tailored for a carnivorous diet or a vegetarian diet, can be spicy or mild and can be set to cook while you go about your day as it only gets better the longer you cook it.
This chilli is all about the meat and the sweet potatoes, as it does not involve beans of any kind which is perfect for anyone who can not eat or does not like legumes. Otherwise it take traditional flavours and combines them with some unconventional one such as cinnamon and cocoa ( although the latter is used in some other chillies). It also uses no oils, only the fat from the bison.
I try to pick up bison from the local butchers shop as they usually have locally sourced bison but sometimes I just pick it up at the grocery store, as I did on a recent shop. Either way using bison really makes this dish in my opinion, but you can easily replace it with beef, mushrooms, chicken, tofu, turkey, even lamb would do.
I recommend serving the chilli over rice or quinoa, or with some cornbread to lap up all the yummy sauce ( these are not necessary as the chilli taste great on its own too!)
Bison and Sweet Potato Chilli
Serves: 8 Servings
- 1-2 Pounds ground bison (depends on how meaty you want it)
- 3 Medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 Medium onion, diced
- 4 Cloves garlic, diced
- 1 Bell Pepper, cubed
- 2 Medium carrots, chopped
- 1 Cup crushed tomatoes
- ½ Cup water or vegetable stock ( only add if chilli is too thick, and do a bit at a time)
- 3 Tbsp chilli powder
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ Tbsp cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tsp cayenne powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Vegan or regular cheese, grated (optional)
- Guacamole (optional)
- Cook bison on medium heat in medium sized pot. Place lid on pot to allow moisture to develop to ensure meat does not stick to bottom.
- Add onions and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and carrots. Turn heat to low medium. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add bell pepper and tomatoes. Add all spices and mix everything up. Lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook chilli for at least 2 hours, but can cook longer if you wish. Check every half hour, pour some water in if needed and stir until it is ready to serve.
- Serve immediately or let cool and transfer to containers for a later time.