Saturday, October 5, 2013

Buffalo Bill Not-Chilly Chili

It was time for our annual ward chili cook-off and I knew I could not duplicate my Whoa Noah Green Chili from last year which included duck, pheasant, rattlesnake, lamb and wild boar. Besides, the category for "most unusual chili" was done away with, so I wanted to try something that would still be somewhat unusual, but have more widespread appeal. Last years chilies were quite mild (mine was hottest, but it was not real hot), so I decided to give mine more of a kick. 

So I decided to focus on buffalo, as a ranch in nearby Oak Glen sells buffalo meat. I wanted to have lots of buffalo meat, lots of garlic and lots of chilies. Thus the posthumously named (that is, named after it was gone) "Buffalo Bill Not Chilly Chili." 

The primary ingredient, after meat, was to be chilies. It ultimately included four or five poblanos, seven or eight jalapenos, ten to fifteen serrano peppers, four habanero peppers (previously marinated), six to eight Anaheim chilies, several red bell peppers, and a yellow bell pepper. These were all grilled on the outdoor grill (other than the habaneros), the skins removed and cut into chunks, some several days prior and frozen, and other right before I started the chili. 
Some of the poblanos, jalapenos and serranos after grilling - some of them have had their skins removed.
Some of the chilies that have been cut into pieces.
I wanted to give the chili a day to mature, so I started Friday evening.

Four buffalo t-bone steaks, about 6 pounds worth, were rubbed in olive oil and salt and cooked on the outdoor grill, browned, but still quite rare, so as not to over-cook them. These were cut into chunks with scissors and placed in a bowl covered with plastic-wrap for insertion late in the cooking process. 
Four buffalo t-bone steaks
Grilled t-bone steaks, still quite rare
T-bone cut into chunks and set-aside for later.
11 heads of garlic were placed in the microwave for about a minute, which softens them up, then separated them into individual cloves, then cut them into smaller, but still large chunks. The chunks were placed in a large pot with canola oil and fried for about five minutes. 
11 heads of garlic, separated into cloves and cut into chunks.
Then three packages of ground buffalo meat, about 3.2 pounds worth, were mixed in with the garlic and cooked it until partially brown. 

Browned ground buffalo with garlic
The buffalo was going to give the chili a nice texture and nice subtle flavor, but I wanted some added fat and taste. So I cut up two 14 ounce packages of Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa (made with pork, turkey and beef) into chunks with scissors. This was added to the ground buffalo and cooked for a few minutes, allowing the sausage to warm up and infuse the meat with the nice flavor. 
Polka Kielbasa sausage
Sausage cut into chunks.
Then the cut up chilies and peppers were added for a minute or two, then four cups of beef broth, a can of sweet corn, lots of ground pepper, about three tablespoons of course salt and about a tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper were added to the mix. At the spur of the moment, I decided to add a can of black-eyed peas, a can of garbanzo beans, and two cans of white beans. 
I let these simmer for awhile, and then, toward the end of the process, added the cut-up buffalo t-bone steak. 
Buffalo t-bone steak added to the mixture.
The concoction was placed in the refrigerator until Saturday afternoon when it was warmed up in time for the cook-off. It turned out to be quite good. The Kielbasa added a very nice flavor, it was very chunky with meat, and it had a late after-burn that didn't manifest itself until it had been in the mouth for a second or two. The garlic was very visible but did not dominate, the chilies were visible, as well as the beans, and the broth was quite thick. I was very happy with the result. I really loved the taste and several people told me that they quite liked it as well. 
Completed chili, colorful and chunky.
A smaller sample, a little more bean heavy than most of the servings. 

1 comment:

  1. This was truly outstanding chili, which I haven't been able to say every year after your Chili Cook-off entry. You can make it for me for my birthday--it's that good.