Big Red Buffalo Chili

Chili is a dish that has regional variations, and aficionados that advocate for the right way to make this satisfying dish.  Traditionally, chili is a spicy stew made from chili peppers, meat, garlic, onions, and cumin.  In some places they add macaroni, beans, or other stuff. Sacrilege. This is a Texas chili, with a deep red color created by the ancho chilies.

ancho-chilis

Texas-style chili contains no beans, tomatoes, or other vegetables besides chili peppers. By the way, chili con carne is the official dish of the state of Texas.

Big Red Buffalo Chili

2 dried red ancho chilies
2 pounds of buffalo roast, cut into quarter inch pieces
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt to tase
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

Preparing the ancho chilies: Remove the stems and seeds from the pods.  I did this by cutting them in half with a scissors (see hint) and shaking the seeds out. Simmer the pods over low hear in water until they are tender. Allow to cool.  Press the simmered peppers through a sieve or strainer to separate the pulp from the skins.  I found this hard to do, but I may have used a strainer with too small of a mesh.  Discard the skins, which tend to be bitter.

Heat the  canola oil in a large pot.  Saute the meat in the oil until it turns grey (you don’t have to really brown it.). Add the ancho chili puree to the meat, and cover with 2 inches of water. Don’t put in too much water, like I did, or you will have to cook it down forever. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and brown sugar if you’re using it.  Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add a little water if the meat starts to stick.  This is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day when the flavors blend. It makes 6 servings at 6 grams of fat/serving. Top with onions and/or 1/2 ounce  shredded reduced fat cheese/serving (adding 3 grams of fat/serving).

buffalo-chili

Variation: add beans if you must.

Hint: When you handle chili peppers, wear protective gloves. Otherwise, the volatile chemical capsaicin will get on your skin.  It is very difficult to wash off. The capsaicin will burn whatever it touches – your eyes (this is the voice of experience), lips, other sensitive areas, and even your baby or dog.

Hint and warning: Cayenne pepper is potent stuff. Add it gradually until you have the right heat for your taste.  I got carried away and made it too spicy

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ABOUT KAREN

I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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