Is there anything more delicious than a steaming hot spicy bowl of chili?!? I sure don’t think so! This past weekend we were in the grips of some of the coldest and nastiest weather of the year so far. The weather folks call it the Polar Vortex. I think they just call it that because the FCC frowns on cursing on live television and vortex could, if enunciated properly, almost sound like a curse word! The wind was howling, snow was falling heavily, and the air temps were plunging to the teens below zero…which meant the windchill factor was around a vortexing negative 40 degrees. There’s really no way to deal with weather like that except to stay inside if possible, watch Netflix, and spend time in the kitchen!
My daughter is home from college for the holidays and she loves chili! I like to think that it’s MY chili she especially loves, so even if I’m being delusional I’m going to keep on believing it’s the truth! Anyway…knowing Anna would be home, and having heard the forecast, I picked up some ground bison and all the other ingredients to make a huge pot of Polar Vortex Bison Chili in the slow cooker.
I feel like chili is one of those recipes that is very personal, and everybody already has their favorite version, but I always like to tweak mine just a little here or there so we don’t get bored with the same old-same old chili! To this pot I chose to use ground bison instead of beef because I really just prefer the bison for it’s flavor and healthfulness. I used a large can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, a minced jalapeño, a couple chopped up chipotles in adobo, spicy V8 juice, and chili powder for different levels and intensities of spiciness. Aside from those ingredients, I also included a large diced onion, a big ‘ol can of chili beans, a little extra cumin to enhance the smokiness of the chipotles and chili powder, and a generous portion of chopped garlic! Throw in a little salt and pepper to taste, simmer it slow and low all day long, and 8 hours later…your patience is rewarded with the best bowl of chili you’ve ever tasted!
I suggest serving the chili with some kind of bread – I made cornbread muffins shaped like mini bundt cakes. That little depression in the center is perfect for corralling the honey I drizzle on mine. Biscuits are another family favorite to accompany chili! Toppings for the chili might include shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped jalapeños, crackers or tortilla chips ~ this is completely a personal preference!
Next time you make a pot of chili try mixing it up a little with a few different ingredients – starting with this recipe and taking it from there! Go ahead…make your family the best vortexing pot of chili to ever come from your kitchen! 😉
- 1.5 pounds ground bison
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 30 oz. can chili beans
- 1 46 oz. bottle of low sodium Spicy Hot V8 juice
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Additional salt to taste
- Brown the ground bison and chopped onions, seasoned with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, in large skillet drizzled with olive oil.
- Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Simmer on low 6-8 hours, until soup has thickened and flavors are developed. Adjust seasoning to taste by adding additional salt as desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy reheated within 3-5 days.
- Freezes well.