Thursday, March 12, 2009

Buffalo Yam Chili



Like some of my all-time favorite dishes, this one just came to me out of the blue, like a buffalo thundering across the prairie and then into my pot.

I'd never heard of chili with yams (or pineapple vinegar) before, but the spirit moved me to unite these unlikely but not unfriendly ingredients. It turned out to be the best chili I've ever had. I'd be tickled for others to take up the gauntlet, and if you do make it, drop me a line and let me know how it turned out.

There are three reasons as to why it was so good. The first was the choice of ingredients, especially the spices. For those still using "chili powder," I strongly suggest creating your own mix. You might find that you prefer more cumin, or less partially hydrogenated oil and silicon dioxide, all of which are commonly found in the pre-made stuff.

I went heavy on whole cumin seeds and chipotles, and their smoky heat paired beautifully with the sweetness of the yams, while the buffalo kept it grounded.

A word on buffalo. Yes, I used buffalo, like a buffalo, not like a buffalo wing, which is chicken. Some might balk at the idea of eating a buffalo, and if you're ethically opposed to eating meat, then I understand where you're coming from. But if not, and you just can't stomach the thought of eating an animal that doesn't appear in a white kid's barnyard animal picture book, I have no sympathy for you, and you don't deserve to eat this anyway.

Also, from what I understand, buffalo don't tolerate confinement, and so raising them in a CAFO is not (yet, I'm sure) an option. Therefore any buffalo meat, even if it's in an otherwise ecologically disastrous chain supermarket, is technically free range, for what that's worth, which is something. As the NYT reported in '07:

"A meeting of people who raise buffaloes is not at all like a meeting of people who raise conventional cattle. For many buffalo herders it is a calling, an effort to save part of their national heritage. They talk of sustainability and even of a holistic approach to raising their animals, which, unlike cattle, are still wild, not domesticated."

Of course you shouldn't eat too much of it, as you shouldn't eat too much of any meat, especially red. Which is why I used a small amount of buff for a big pot of chili, going with the Mark Bittman-Thomas Jefferson approach of using meat as more of a seasoning than a main dish.

The second reason it was so good was browning. Brown everything you put in the pot, from the cumin seeds to the meat. The broth will be richer, the color darker.

The third reason it was so good is that it was chili.

---------------------------------

Recipe: Buffalo Yam Chili

3 yams
1/4 lb ground buffalo
1 large can of tomatoes (or fresh in season, but never these)
2 cups of precooked beans in the pinto or kidney family (or 1 small can)
2 onions
1 red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
2 dried chipotle peppers
2 tbsp whole cumin seeds
a splash of homemade pineapple vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
salt to taste
neutral, high heat oil for browning (i.e. canola)

Note: This might seem like a lot of ingredients and steps, but you're only really doing two things: browning and simmering, and you can certainly handle that. Therefore you'll need a skillet and a big pot.

1. Put the tomatoes in the big pot on medium heat.

2. Toast the cumin seeds and chipotles in the dry skillet. Add the cumin to the pot with the 'maters, set the chipotles aside.

3. Cut the yams into bite sized hunks. Seriously brown them in the oil, then add to the pot.

4. Dice and brown the onions. Mince the garlic and add it and the diced bell pepper to the skillet when the onions are at the halfway point. Transfer to the pot when ready.

5. While the onions are in the skillet, de-stem and de-seed the chipotles. Soak in some of the warm tomato water until soft, then muddle (or blend), and add to the pot.

6. Brown the buffalo. Add to the pot.

7. Add the beans, simmer ten minutes, then add salt and vinegar.

8. If it needs more kick, add cayenne to taste. It's good now, but it will be better tomorrow.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

6 comments:

Dave said...

I think I saw a program on Buffalos on PBS with my dad... So impressed with your success without a recipe. I tried to make a stew without a recipe on the principle that a little bit of meat would make any vegetable palatable, especially if I remembered to brown it. It worked with the lamb and potatoes and a little bit of turnip, but was a disaster with stewing beef and a lot of turnip! this is Karen not Dave.

Anonymous said...

mcm handbags
coach handbags
cheap ugg boots
mulberry outlet
christian louboutin outlet
nike shoes sale
cheap uggs
tory burch sale
tory burch outlet
nike roshe run
ugg sale
mcm bags
cheap beats by dr dre
nike high heels
gucci bags
air max pas cher
canada goose jacket
woolrich jackets
ugg clearance
kevin durant shoes
canada goose jackets
uggs outlet stores
yves saint laurent shoes
gucci bags
kd shoes
nike store
michael kors outlet store
tiffany and co jewelry
new balance outlet
nike outlet
nike high heels
canada goose black friday sales
mulberry bags
ugg boots clearance
burberry outlet

Gagan Kamboj said...

Happy New Year 2016 CELEBRATIONS
Christmas 2015 CELEBRATIONS
FULL Movie Free Download

http://newyearwishess.com/
http://christmasquotess.com/
http://moviesgallery.in/

http://newyearwishess.com/
http://christmasquotess.com/
http://moviesgallery.in/
http://newyearwishess.com/
http://christmasquotess.com/
http://moviesgallery.in/
http://newyearwishess.com/
http://christmasquotess.com/
http://moviesgallery.in/
http://newyearwishess.com/
http://christmasquotess.com/
http://moviesgallery.in/
http://newyearwishess.com/
http://christmasquotess.com/
http://moviesgallery.in/

dixit said...

happy valentines day images HD wallpapers pictures

happy valentines day facebook whatsapp images

happy valentines day wishes saying quotes

happy valentines day messages sms

Gagan Kamboj said...

India Republic Day 2016 Parade Doordarshan Live Streaming
Indian Republic Day Facebook Timeline Cover Photo Images
Republic Day 2016 Wishes Greetings SMS Hindi
Republic Day Quotes 2016
Indian Republic Day 2016 Images Pictures Photos
Republic Day 2016 HD Wallpapers

Kiss Day Pictures Images Wallpapers
Hug Day HD Wallpapers Images
Happy Valentines Day HD Wallpapers
Valentine Week Full List 2016 Date Sheet

Happy Propose Day Wishes 2016
Happy Propose Day Hindi SMS Messages 2016
Propose Day 2016 Messages
Happy Propose Day 2016 HD Wallpapers
Propose Day 2016 SMS Messages Quotes

Gagan Kamboj said...

Happy Valentine Love Pictures and Wallpaper
Unique Valentines Day Cards
Best Valentines Day Gift Ideas
Funny Valentine Quotes Sayings For Lovers
Propose Day 2016 SMS Messages Quotes
Valentines Quotes For Him | Love & Funny Quotes
Valentine Day Quotes For Friend, Wife and Kids

happy valentines day images HD wallpapers pictures
Kiss day images HD wallpapers pictures
Hug Day images HD wallpapers pictures
Teddy Day images HD wallpapers pictures
Chocolate day images HD wallpapers pictures
propose day images HD wallpapers pictures
Rose day images HD wallpapers pictures
Guru Marathi Full Movie Download