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Texas Bison and Beer Chili

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Bison makes a knockout chili, particularly when it's simmered in a bock or an American dark lager. This version gets its smoky flavor from fire-roasted tomatoes and chipotles; plus, it's Texas-style, which means not a bean in sight and a healthy portion of Shiner Bock added for good measure. Bake your best cornbread, set up a toppings bar and lasso some friends in for this cowboy chili.

Makes: Serves 8

  • 1 12 ounce bottle Shiner Bock
  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 12 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14 cup New Mexico chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons minced canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 12 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • fresh-ground black pepper, to taste


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven on medium-high heat until simmering. Add bison; cook about 5 minutes or until no pink remains, roughly breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.
  • Remove meat with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside
  • Drain liquid from pot, and add remaining olive oil. Add onion and saute over medium heat until translucent and soft but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute more. Add chile powder, cumin, oregano and cinnamon, and cook gently, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour in beer, and let cook down a few minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, honey, chipotles and remaining salt, and return bison to pot. Cook at a lazy simmer, 45 minutes.
  • Let chili cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. Reheat over low heat, and stir in lime juice and cilantro just before serving.
  • Spoon chili into bowls, and top with your favorite fixings.

Suggested Toppings:
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream
red onion, minced
scallions, chopped
Haas avocado, diced
jalapenos, sliced
fresh cilantro, chopped
roasted pumpkin seeds


Choose a Maibock/Helles Bock for this recipe

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