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Bison Chili

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces ground bison
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup canned diced San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash diced, roasted
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 (1" square) piece 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano


  1. Heat a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground bison and season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, to brown the meat, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  5. While stirring, add the cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes, roasted butternut squash and chicken stock. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  7. Add the chocolate, dried oregano, paprika, cinnamon and salt. Stir and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  8. Add fresh oregano. Adjust the seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Ladle into bowls and serve with desired accompaniments.
  10. If not serving immediately, let the chili cool then refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

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