Posts Tagged 'buffalo'

Meat and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce

This is the best spaghetti sauce I have ever made. It is even better than the recipe I inherited from my mother. I combined several recipes, including my mother’s, to make it. What could be bad?  It’s got mushrooms:
meat sauce mushrooms
It’s got ground buffalo:
meat sauce buffalo
It’s got hot Italian chicken sausage
meat sauce sausage
Plus it’s got a bit of crushed red pepper to give it even more zing. And it’s low fat and one recipe makes a lot, so you can freeze it. (Oh, and it freezes well.)

One warning, though. I have made this numerous times. The last time was after I’d gotten rid of my slow cooker in preparation for the move that has not yet happened.  I figured that I could just make it in my giant trusty sauté pan. It was ok, but it lacked the depth and richness of the usual sauce. So you really need a slow cooker for long simmering to make this taste wonderful.

Meat and Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (see note)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 chopped green pepper
½ pound button mushrooms, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces hot Italian chicken sausage
1 pound ground buffalo
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and green pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
meat sauce veggies cooking
Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Place vegetable mixture in a 6-quart slow cooker.
meat sauce veggies crockpot
Crumble sausage and buffalo into skillet; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble further. Remove meat mixture from skillet using a slotted spoon. Add meat mixture to slow cooker. Stir next 9 ingredients (through basil) into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Makes 9 servings at about 4.6 grams of fat/serving. Break out the pasta and enjoy.
meat sauce
NOTE: I chop the onion, carrot, and green pepper in the food processor so they’ll blend into the sauce.

Slow-Cooker Shiitake-Buffalo Stew

In the bottom of my pantry I have one and a half huge Costco bags of dried shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake, native to Korea, China and Japan, have been grown in all three countries since prehistoric times. They have been cultivated for over 1,000 years. They were believed to be medicinal, a remedy for upper respiratory diseases, poor blood circulation, liver trouble, exhaustion and weakness. Dried shiitake must be rehydrated by soaking in water before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh, considering that the sun-drying process brings out the umami flavor from the dried mushrooms.

History aside, I find shiitake mushrooms to be quite versatile, throwing a handful into various dishes to increase their “meatiness” without increasing fat. They have a nice, chewy texture and flavor that adds substance to a dish.  But one and a half very big bags is simply too much! I need to reduce their bulk by using a large number at once. And that’s when I discovered recipes on the back of the bags.

Beside switching from beef to buffalo to lower fat, I varied the recipe a bit to match up with things I had in the house. It was too snowy to go out to get new ingredients. So for the new potatoes, I used a pound of cut up regular potatoes, and for the recommended canned whole tomatoes I used diced, because that is what I had in the pantry.

This recipe is super easy – everything goes in the slow cooker and then you come home to a great dinner.

The flour in the recipe means you have a good, thick gravy at the end. It also reheated well, with a little water added, so it made good leftovers the next day. It was a perfect winter dish when the temperatures were hovering in the 20’s and I wanted something warm and filling.

Slow-Cooker Shiitake-Buffalo Stew

3 cups dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms
12 new potatoes cut into quarters, or 1 lb. regular potatoes cut in 2 inch chunks
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
8 oz baby carrots
14½  oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained
14½ oz can beef broth
½ cup flour
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 lb buffalo, cut in 2 inch cubes (I used buffalo chuck roast, but any roast would do)

In a medium bowl, cover the shiitake mushroom with water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Drain shiitake mushrooms. Combine mushrooms and all ingredients except buffalo in a slow-cooker. Stir a bit to mix the flour in. Add buffalo.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (mine slow-cooker runs hot, so 7 hours was enough). Makes 4 hearty servings at about 2.5 grams of fat/serving.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

This recipe, originally from Cooking Light, was supposed to be a pot roast with turnip greens.  But I became ill in July (the reason for no posts for a while), and the turnip greens grew old and tough.  Besides, the one dish I made with turnip greens made me conclude that I did not really like them.  So I eliminated them from the recipe and made this delicious dish which is more like a stew.  This dish is so hearty that I didn’t even serve it with rice or noodles, although I think it would be good with a brown and wild rice mix. It also froze well for reheating on later chilly fall days.

This is a slow-cooker recipe, so cut your vegetables in reasonably even pieces.  These are the parsnips:

Also, use a decent red wine. This is the red wine I usually use for cooking, unless the recipe calls for something more specific. It is reasonably priced and has a hearty flavor that is good with meats.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (3-pound) boneless buffalo chuck roast, trimmed of all fat (I had to use two smaller roasts)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut parsnips (about 1 pound)
3 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
2 cups cipollini onions, peeled and quartered (my grocery never heard of cipollini onions. I used a bag of frozen pearl onions)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

The vegetables

Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle buffalo evenly with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add buffalo; sauté 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Place parsnips, potatoes, and onions in a slow cooker. Transfer buffalo to slow cooker. Add tomato paste to skillet; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour broth mixture into slow cooker.

Place peppercorns and next 4 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth.

Gather edges of cheesecloth together; secure with twine. Add cheesecloth bundle to slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until buffalo and vegetables are tender. Discard cheesecloth bundle. Remove roast from slow cooker; slice. Serve with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid.  Makes 6 generous servings at about 7 grams of fat/serving.

Courgettes (Zucchini) and Buffalo Curry

I needed something to bring to the office for a surprise “man shower” we were having for a soon-to-be new dad. I wanted to make something from my garden, but it was between the spring veggies (snow peas, etc.,) and the onslaught of zucchini and tomatoes that was surely soon to come.  I managed to pick a handful of baby zucchini and yellow squash and cut them up for this nice curry from my favorite low fat Indian cookbook by Husain and Kanani.

One of the quickest ways to lower the fat in many recipes (besides substituting buffalo for the beef) is to eliminate the fat or oil. If the oil is only being used as a vehicle to soften veggies and is not a critical component of the flavor, you don’t need it.  You can steam fry the veggies. Don’t remember how to steam fry? Spray a large frying pan (or wok in my case) with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add your onions, celery or whatever the recipe calls for. Cook, stirring frequently. As the veggies start to turn golden, add a little water and stir. It will soon evaporate. You can do this several times until the veggies are softened or you reach the shade of golden brown you are looking for.

You lose 14 grams of unneeded fat for each tablespoon of oil you eliminate, and you still get the good flavor of sautéed onions, garlic, and the like.  So in a dish that serves 4, you eliminate 3.5 grams of fat/tablespoon of oil eliminated.

This recipe would have made nice leftovers, but there weren’t any. It is not a particularly incendiary curry, and thus suitable for friends who don’t like “hot” foods.

Courgettes (Zucchini) and Buffalo Curry

Cooking spray
2 medium onions, chopped
8 oz buffalo, trimmed and cut into small strips
½ cup non-fat yogurt (I used Greek, but regular is ok)
1 teaspoon garam masala (see NOTE)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 zucchini, sliced
1 Tablespoon cilantro to garnish

Either broil the zucchini slices in a preheated broiler for 3 minutes, turning once, or cook them in a frying pan or griddle pan coated with cooking spray until they are lightly browned (this is what I did).  Set aside.

Steam fry onion until golden brown. Add buffalo and stir fry for 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, ginger, and ground coriander. Pour yogurt mixture over the buffalo and stir fry for 2 minutes. Cook over medium to low heat for 12-15 minutes.

Check to see that the buffalo is cooked and the sauce is quite thick.  Then gently add zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.  I served it with couscous for convenience, but I think it would be better with rice. Makes 4 servings at about 2 grams of fat/serving.

NOTE: Garam masala is a Hindi term meaning hot (garam) spice (masala). The word garam refers to intensity of the spices;  masala is pungent, but not hot in the same way as a chili pepper. The actual mixture of spices used in garam masala differs regionally, and even from family to family, with a wide variety across India. You can buy an acceptable bottle garam masala from a number of companies, or you can find a recipe in an Indian cookbook and make your own.

Dried Cherry Chili

Sometimes I think that winter dishes should be called “things in bowls”.  That is because we have been having weather that makes the outdoors look like this


And this:


Now I admit (somewhat grudgingly) that it is all quite beautiful, especially when the sun shines on the snow. But when it is combined with temperatures well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it quickly loses its charm.  Time to take out the soup pot and make things in bowls and keep the kitchen and my tummy warm.

 

This recipe, which came from the Cherry Marketing Institute, originally was made with ground turkey. But I am not fond of chili with ground turkey – the regular ground turkey is not that low in fat, and I think that ground turkey breast does not have a good texture in dishes like chili. But this chili is great with ground buffalo. I don’t use store bought packages of ground buffalo. It is somewhat higher in fat than buffalo meat from a roast or some such, because I expect they use fattier cuts of meat. If you made this recipe with packaged ground buffalo, it would probably be closer to 12 grams of fat/serving, which isn’t that bad, but not as low as I like. I grind my own meat from buffalo roasts. I usually grind large amounts using the electric grinder attached to my mixer, but this time I wanted to grind only the pound I needed for the chili. So I used my food processor. Trim the buffalo of all fat and cut into about 2 inch pieces. Place in food processor and pulse several times until meat is ground to the texture that you want. Don’t overprocess – you’re looking for ground meat, not pate.

When I saw cherries and chili, I wondered how it would work out. I’m not sure I want sweet chili. But this chili is actually a nice, rich, somewhat spicy chili. The cherries are just a burst of tart-sweet flavor every now and then. It has beans, but not too many – and they’re black beans, which are a little different.

Dried Cherry Chili

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

4 ounces dried tart cherries, chopped (¾ cup)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped garlic

2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno

1 pound ground buffalo

1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, chili powder

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried mustard

½ teaspoon dried oregano

4 cups chopped fire-roasted tomatoes  (2 15 ounce cans will work)

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained

¼ cup chopped cilantro

 

Heat 1 cup of broth. Place cherries in small bowl. Add hot broth and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; cook 1 minute. Do not brown. Add buffalo; cook until it is no longer pink.
Add bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, mustard and oregano. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes. NOTE: I used bottled roasted red peppers to save time.

Stir in beans, cilantro and cherry mixture. Continue cooking until thoroughly heated. Makes 8 servings at 5 grams of fat/serving.

I added 1 ounce of reduced fat cheese and homemade corn chips, adding 7 grams of fat to the overall meal.

Spicy Buffalo Macaroni Stir Fry

It’s Buffalo Week!  Oh boy!  I’ve already cooked, boxed, and frozen 14 (yes 14) boxes of buffalo pot roast with lots of onions and mushrooms.

buffalo packages

It’s definitely time to stock up. The grocery only has buffalo every six weeks, and from now until the Super Bowl, there won’t be any buffalo at all. The butcher will be featuring turkey and other holiday fare. So I bought lot of roasts for winter cooking, and while I was flinging buffalo haunches into the cart, I tossed in a small package of buffalo stew meat.

I mentioned in the previous post that I had quite a bit of leftover spicy dipping sauce from the noodle rolls. Not wanting to waste it, I made a spicy buffalo stir fry.  This is more of an improvisation than a recipe.  Feel free to add veggies as you wish.

Spicy Buffalo Macaroni Stir Fry

1 lb buffalo, trimmed of all fat and cubed
1 medium onion, halved and sliced vertically
10 large mushrooms (white or cremini), sliced
¼ cup leftover spicy dipping sauce
about 1 cup hot water
4 ounces of macaroni
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a large wok or frying pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium high heat. Add buffalo and brown, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ cup of the water and stir, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan (this makes a gravy.) Add remaining water, onions, and mushrooms. Add dipping sauce. Cover and cook until buffalo is tender, stirring occasionally. While the buffalo is cooking, cook macaroni. Add cooked macaroni to buffalo and stir. Adjust seasoning if necessary.  This makes 4 servings at about 6 grams of fat/serving.  I was really hungry and ate 2 servings.

buffalo stir fry

Braised Buffalo with Brandy and Mustard

This is a substantial dish, with a taste somewhat reminiscent of sauerbraten. The sun-dried tomatoes and two kinds of mustard give this pot roast like dish a rich flavor. The juniper berries provide a sharp, somewhat citrusy accent.   A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a berry-like appearance. Juniper berries are used in northern European and particularly Scandinavian cuisine to flavor meats and wild birds. Juniper berries also give gin its distinguishing flavor.

Juniper Berries on the branch

Juniper Berries on the branch

Braised Buffalo with Brandy and Mustard

1 teaspoon olive oil
1¼  pounds of buffalo bottom round steak (or chuck, tip or other cut that responds well to long cooking), trimmed of all fat and any gristle and cut into 1 inch slices
½ cup brandy
2 cups reduced fat beef stock or broth
2 Tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 sun-dried tomatoes, not oil pack, cut into slivers
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
6 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
¼ cup brown sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or deep oven-proof skillet.  Add meat and brown on all sides. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside. Drain off any fat in pan. Return pan to the heat and immediately add brandy, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the brandy is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Stir in the stock, mustards, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, juniper berries, bay leaf, and brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Return the meat to the pan, cover tightly, and place in oven.  Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, for 1½ hours, or until very tender. Remove the bay leaf and juniper berries, and season the sauce with pepper.  This makes 4 servings with about 6 grams of fat/serving.

Braised Buffalo with Brandy
Why is something so delicious so homely when photographed?  Those are plantains on the side.

Buffalo Bone Soup

I have been having some odd experiences.  On at least 4 occasions, people I have known for a long time, but perhaps not seen for a while have stared at me with a puzzled expression, not seeming to recognize me.  One person came up to me after a committee meeting and told me that she didn’t know who I was until I said my name in the introductions.  Now this seems strange to me, because when I look in the mirror, particularly when I am in the buff, I feel like I look exactly like I always have – pale, pink and flabby.  My face looks the same, although I have more neck, and I am still a short, somewhat plump redhead.  I know empirically that I must be different – the scale says so and my pants are too big – but unrecognizable?  It’s disquieting.

This recipe is really a variation on my mother’s soup with flanken.  Flanken are very fatty little bits of short ribs which are too fatty to use in most dishes.  I haven’t seen buffalo bones, except for T-bone and other steaks.  But this week there were buffalo ribs in the meat case along with the usual cuts.  The butcher and I agreed that these might not make good barbecue, so I decided on soup.  Really, you need bones to make a rich meat soup.

This is an imprecise recipe, because you can add a bit of whatever you want. My mother always used this soup mix as the base of her soup.  This makes a thick, porridge-like soup.

soup-mix

Buffalo Bone Soup

2 pounds of buffalo bones
7 cups of water
soup mix
¼ cup barley
½ of a large onion, chopped
other things to add if you like
1 cup of dried shitake mushroom (small pieces)
a carrot, chopped
a stalk of celery, chopped
chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim as much fat as you can off the meat – really, if they are ribs you are not going to be able to get most of the fat off.  Place in a large pot and cover with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove meat from pot and set aside, pour liquid into a large container and chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator. Great gobs of fat will have solidified on the surface of the soup. Remove them all, using a strainer if necessary.  Measure the soup liquid into a pot and add water or broth until you again have 7 cups of liquid. Add contents of the soup mix plus ¼ cup of barley, and shitake mushrooms if you are using them.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Add onion and other vegetables if you are using them and cook for another ½ hour.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I had intended to chop up the rib meat and add it to the soup, but even after long cooking they were too fatty. This makes about 5 servings of soup, at about 4 grams of fat/serving.  This soup went right into the freezer to take for lunches.

buffalo-soup

Buffalo Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe makes me giggle. Imagine a buffalo shepherd. What would you use for the shepherd’s staff – a 2 x 4 board with a bow on it?  And do they come home, like Bo Peep’s sheep, waging their big shaggy tails behind them?

Shepherd’s Pie is a savory meat pie topped with a mashed potato crust.  Instead of spooning the meat stew over mashed potatoes, you put the mashed potatoes over the meat and bake it.  It dates from the late 18th century, and was a means of using up – and stretching – leftover roasted meat.  Now it typically is made with lamb or mutton, with the suggested origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle (and certainly not buffalo), however this is probably folklore. There are probably as many recipes for it as there are cooks – a close friend makes it with ground beef and onion soup mix and puts a layer of peas under the potato topping, another makes it with leftover pot roast.

At any rate, someone passed me this recipe because they knew I liked to cook.  The original had beef and lamb mixed. Naturally, I thought buffalo.  I think it may be a British recipe, because they refer to the meat as being “minced”.   I took a number of liberties with the recipe to make a shepherd’s pie that is very tasty and filling – and still low in fat.  An added benefit to this dish is that it can be made ahead, or in stages.  I made the meat filling one day, and put it in the refrigerator in the baking pan.  When I had more time the next day, I made the potato crust and baked it.  I expect you could assemble it completely and refrigerate it to be baked the next day, but you might have to bake it a few minutes longer.

Buffalo Shepherd’s Pie

Cooking spray
1 ½ pounds buffalo roast trimmed of all visible fat and gristle, ground (do not use purchased ground buffalo – it is much higher in fat)
2 medium onions, diced fine – I use the food processor
3 carrots, peeled and diced fine
½ pound cremini or button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine
1 can of low sodium, reduced fat beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds Yukon gold or red potatoes
2 Tablespoons light butter
1 cup green onions, finely chopped

If you are making the entire dish to serve immediately, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Otherwise, preheat it to 400 when you reheat the pie.

To make the filling: Spray a large Dutch oven or non-stick pan with cooking spray. Brown the ground meat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions and carrots to the pan and sauté until they are limp and just beginning to color – about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning.  Add mushrooms and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste, thyme, parsley and cinnamon.  Stir and sauté for 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour, and then add the wine and beef broth.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.   Return the meat to the pan, bring to a boil, cover and turn down the heat to low, simmering  for about 30 minutes.  Remove the filling from the heat, and spread in a 9 x 13 pan coated with cooking spray, smoothing it until even.

To make the crust
: Peel the potatoes and cut them into large, even pieces.  Place in a pot of water and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Drain the potatoes thoroughly, add the 2 tablespoons of light butter, and mash until smooth. Mash the green onions into the  potatoes. Spoon the potatoes over the filling and spread evenly to cover the meat.  Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, until the crust begins to brown.  This makes 8 hearty servings at 4 grams of fat/serving.

Variation: If you wanted to substitute ½ pound of very lean ground lamb for ½ pound of the buffalo, it would have a more “British” feel, and would be about 6 grams of fat/serving.
shepherds-pie-2

Hint: I grind my own meat so that I know how much fat is in it.  Store-purchased ground meat tends to be fatty, even the beef that is labeled “extra lean” has almost 5 grams/ounce.  I used to grind eye of round – 1.2 grams/ounce, and now I grind buffalo – .6 grams/ounce.  I usually grind a large amount of meat using the electric grinder on my KitchenAid.  It is a big, all-morning production. I just discovered that it is possible to grind a pound of so of meat by cutting it into medium sized chunks and pulsing it in the food processor.  This has interesting implications for ground chicken and pork, to be experimented with soon.

Hint: Tomato Paste is one of those annoying ingredients that you tend to need a spoonful of, but it doesn’t come in single spoon packages.  I have been freezing the leftover tomato paste in a plastic zip-top bag, and then I can defrost slightly it when I need a bit and refreeze it.

Warning: this pie is very filling.  Every time I eat a slab, I have the overwhelming desire to curl up under a down blanket and take a nap.  Maybe it’s the weather.

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


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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