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Buffalo Chili

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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My new favorite chili recipe combines elements of other favorites, namely my dad's and the black-bean chili published in Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook. If you are not serving a crowd, the large amount guarantees a container or two for the freezer.


  1. Vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks (or 1 bell pepper), chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 lb. ground buffalo (see Note)
  6. 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  7. 1 tsp. Spanish paprika
  8. 2 tsp. ground cumin
  9. 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice
  10. 8 cups cooked pinto or black beans, with cooking broth (or water)
  11. 1 to 2 Tbsp. chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  12. Salt
  13. Sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped white onions, and tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large, heavy pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in celery (or bell pepper) and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Push the vegetables to the outside edge of the pot and place the ground meat in the middle. With the end of the spoon, break up the meat and cook for several minutes, occasionally flipping the meat over to brown the other side, until the meat is no longer pink.
  3. Stir the vegetables into the meat, adding extra oil if the meat is beginning to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the chili powder, paprika, and cumin, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, the cooked beans and the bean broth, and, if necessary, extra water to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (Add as much water as you like, depending on how thick or soupy you like your chili.)
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, then cook, partially covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if the chili begins to stick. Add chipotles and season to taste with salt. Serve hot, with sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped white onions, and tortilla chips, if desired.


"Buffalo meat" in the U.S. comes from the American bison. Feel free to add more chipotles if you like your chili spicy.