Here it is, June 25th again. It’s amazing how that date comes up at this same time every year . . .
Those of you who have been following along for a while now know that I’m a bit of a history nut. I love American History – warts and all. By that, I mean I appreciate the dark side of this country’s past and don’t pretend for a moment that we didn’t have our share of black eyes.
We also have our shining moments. People are basically good. When we talk about MAGA, so often it is associated with negative connotations and linked to racist attitudes. For me, what MAGA stands for – Make American Great Again – isn’t a return to her more sinister past but rather a return to pride in this great country and her people – all her people. I would love to see a Hands Across America type movement to bridge the division in this country, to heal the hatred that has festered up and to embrace the goodness of this place I call home.
Enough political ranting for one day. Today marks one hundred and forty-three years since the Battle of Greasy Grass. Once upon a time mighty herds of bison blanketed the grassy plains of America. Years ago, Hubby and I were in Yellowstone in Hayden Valley. As we sat on the side of a hill, something spooked the Bison herd below. It was a stampede. The ground shaking and the pounding of hoofs is something we will never forget.
While this recipe for Buffalo Chili might not be authentically Native American, it is so delicious! When it comes to Bison, eat up! This is one of the healthiest meats on the planet. Those buffalo hunters knew exactly what they were doing.
Buffalo Indian Corn Chili with Fry Bread
Buffalo Indian Corn Chili
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 fresh Jalapeño Chili Pepper
6 Garlic Cloves
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cumin
3 lb Ground Buffalo (Bison) Meat
1 can (15 oz.) White Hominy, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 oz) Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 oz.) crushed Tomatoes in purée juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Cilantro
Peel and chop onion, set aside.
Rinse red pepper, core and discard seeds. Chop pepper and set aside.
Rinse jalapeño pepper. Stem and remove most of the seeds (some or all can be retained for heat). Mince pepper and set aside.
In a large slow-cooker, mix the onions, red pepper and jalapeno. Peel and press garlic into the cooker.
Add chili powder, oregano and cumin.
Crumble ground buffalo over the vegetables in the cooker. Drain and rinse the hominy, add to the slow cooker. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes with juice over buffalo mixture. Stir to blend.
Cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high. If possible, turn meat over about halfway through cooking.
With a slotted spoon, stir to mix meat well with chili and skim off any fat. (Note: if using 100% bison meat, there should very little fat).
Spoon chili into wide bowls. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Top bowls of chili as desired with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with fry bread much like you would cornbread with traditional bowls of spicy chili.
Offer some chopped onion and shredded cheese for those who like their chili with a more traditional topping.
Indian Fry Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 cup milk, warmed
Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening; then add milk. Knead for 5 minutes on floured board. Shape dough into a long cylinder; brush with oil, cover with plastic and let rest for 20 minutes.
When ready, fry up the bread. Cut dough into 8 equal parts. Work with 1 part at a time, keep remaining dough covered.
Roll a piece of dough into a ball. Flatten the dough by hand, with a rolling-pin or tortilla press to create about a 4? to 6? tortilla. Don’t worry if your fry bread isn’t perfectly round. Mine rarely are – some are oblong, some a bit more square. It really doesn’t matter.
Fry bread in hot oil until golden brown, swirling as it cooks to prevent burning. Use the end of a wooden spoon to swirl bread as it cooks, flip and continue to brown until done. Place on a paper towel, blot off excess grease and set aside in a warm oven. Repeat until all the bread has been fried.
Looking for another great recipe that features Indian Fry Bread? How about some Navajo Tacos . . .