American Buffalo Chili

Mozzarella di Bufala would often be found at our summer lunch table, alongside a plate of fresh tomatoes.

Mozzarella di Bufala would often be found at our summer lunch table, alongside a plate of fresh tomatoes.

Traditionally, Italian buffalos are used for the fantastic mozzarella di bufala cheese they produce. Mozzarella from the buffalo differs from that of a cow mainly in its stronger, “gamier” taste. In terms of using buffalos for their meat, I can’t recall the last time I ate a helping of buffalo in Italy that wasn’t in dairy form. However, I know you can get it, because the Italians will eat any part of their livestock. So I will take the safe way out, and classify this recipe as more of an American one than Italian. I know Americans commonly eat buffalo meat, and my recipe, after all, is a chili.  

The best part about this chili recipe is that you don’t have to use buffalo meat, or even normal ground beef. For example, when I made this I used half buffalo meat, and half leftover brisket meat from the night before. It will come out different depending on what meat you use, but that is what’s so exciting about this recipe! No matter what meat, I guarantee this chili will be good.

I do recommend buffalo meat over ground beef in this chili recipe, or any ragu sauces you’ll make. Buffalo meat is  more expensive, but it’s a lean meat, and strong in flavor.

American Buffalo Chili

  • 7 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • dash of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 lb. ground Buffalo Meat (or ground beef, or leftover brisket)
  • 27 oz can of Diced Tomatoes
  • about 1/3 cup Tomato Sauce (sauce without seasoning)
  • 4 tbsp. Ground Chili Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp.   Dried, Crushed Oregano
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 13 oz cooked Black Beans
  • Cherry Tomatoes, Chopped Onion, Cilantro (optional for garnishing)

Saute the garlic gloves and red pepper flakes in enough olive oil to cover most of the pan (about 7 tbsp.) over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic is softened.

Sautee the garlic in olive oil and garlic over low heat.

Sautee the garlic in olive oil and garlic over low heat.

Add the buffalo meat, and any other meat you use, in the pan. Cook the meat thoroughly over medium heat.

Add the buffalo meat.

Add the buffalo meat.

The buffalo meat may look boring when cooked, but do not be discouraged.

The buffalo meat may look boring when cooked, but do not be discouraged.

Add the can of diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

The can of diced tomatoes goes in.

The can of diced tomatoes goes in.

All the tomatoes are in.

All the tomatoes are in.

I added some diced leftover brisket to my chili. This is not mandatory, and can be substituted with ground beef or more buffalo.

I added some diced leftover brisket to my chili. This is not mandatory, and can be substituted with ground beef or more buffalo.

Chopped Brisket

The meat and tomatoes have simmered together.

The meat and tomatoes have simmered together.

Add all of the spices to the chili (ground chili pepper, cumin, oregano, salt, and paprika).

All the chili spices go in.

All the chili spices go in.

The chili has been spiced up, and is ready to be beaned.

The chili has been spiced up, and is ready to be beaned.

Finally, add the cooked beans. By now, if the chili is too solid, and not soupy enough, then add more tomato sauce.

Eat your beans!

Eat your beans!

Buffalo Chili

Garnish a bowl of chili with fresh tomato, onion, or cilantro! Enjoy!

Dish the chili with cherry tomatoes, chopped onion, or cilantro.

Serve the chili with cherry tomatoes, chopped onion, or cilantro.

8 responses on “American Buffalo Chili

  1. I like buffalo and have it a lot when traveling out west especially.
    Ginny and M’Liz have a buffalo farm/store nearby in NJ.
    Sounds wonderful. You have a way of making me hungry.
    Thanks,
    Uncle Johnny

    • Spectacular! Sounds like I’ll be heading up there and expecting some fresh buffalo then!
      Thanks, Uncle Johnny! Always good to hear from you!
      -Ben

  2. Woah, this looks super yummy. Are buffaloes still endangered? What happened with that? Can we eat them again? I guess we can eat the bald eagle again now, so maybe the buffalo is back too.

    • Haha! What? Bald eagles are being cooked? I’m not too sure I like that idea, considering I’ve only seen a few of them in my time.

      The American buffalo was greatly endangered around 100 years ago, when we hunted the heck out of them. In 1900, there were 39 buffalo left. But now, apparently, we can eat them. If we ever run out, then other countries have them. (Wow, that last sentence I wrote does not sound very animal friendly)

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