Bison Chili

Bison Chili

This recipe was inspired by Cold Spring Tavern. The secret to this recipe is the smoky flavor of the poblano chilies which are a unique counterpoint to the wild flavor of the bison steak (which can be found in the specialty meat section). You can find versions of this recipe floating around on the web, here’s mine.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lb bison ribeye, cut into 1-inch cubes, trimmed of some of the fat

  • 1 - 14 oz cans black beans, plain

  • 2 - 14 oz cans black beans, spicy (if you can find them, otherwise use the plain ones)

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 10-12 poblano peppers, diced (seeds and ribs removed; would recommend wearing gloves)

  • 2 tsp whole cumin

  • 1 - 12 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1-1/2 tbsp taco or chili seasoning (in this case, Los Chileros taco & burrito mix)*

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt

  • Plain yogurt, optional for serving

* Ingredients note: Normally, I don’t recommend commercial seasoning mixes as they are usually just full of salt. However, this seasoning mix contains flavorful ingredients such as Hatch chili, ancho chili, onion, garlic, salt & spices.


  1. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil and brown the bison meat. Once it is browned, remove it from the pan.

  2. Working quickly, add in the chopped poblano peppers and onions. (When you are chopping the poblano peppers, you will probably want to wear gloves. Poblano peppers are not spicy hot, like some peppers, but they do generate a warm heat, especially when you chopping up a whole batch of ‘em.)

  3. After about 5 minutes on medium-high heat, the onions will become translucent. Add the meat back into the pan. Then add in the remaining ingredients (everything except the yogurt): whole cumin, the can of diced tomatoes, the chili seasoning, bay leaf, and salt (at least 2 Tbsp — beans and tomatoes both need quite a lot of salt).

  4. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for at least 1 hour over a low simmer. The liquid will reduce considerably.

  5. When you are ready to serve, you can top with a bit of plain yogurt (or sour cream) to give it an additional richness.

Bon appetit!

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