There is a buffalo farm right down the road from my house (Hillside Farm). In fact, when I first moved into my apartment about a year ago there was a big local story about a buffalo heard escaping and blocking the road - turns out it was the same one!
Anyway, this makes it quite convenient for me as I am a huge buffalo lover! Besides thinking they are super cute, I think that buffalo meat is extremely tasty. If you have never had it, you are missing out. Obviously, it tastes "beef-like" but I think its way better. In addition, buffalo meat is a lot healthier - Not only does it have 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef, on average it has 50% less cholesterol. And on top of that, it is higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids. Buffalo are not subjected to chemicals, drugs and hormones. Nor are they force-fed in high density pens. They are handled as little as possible and spend most of their time grazing. If you have read anything about commercial feed lots and the negative health effects, you know this is a good thing.
Randi and I went to the store and met the owner of the farm, he let us walk back to the fields where we saw a 2-day old buffalo baby plus many other of its relatives. There is something very satisfying about seeing that your dinner leads a happy, relaxed life, with lots of grass to graze on.
I bought a pound of ground meat for $5 and decided to use it make the chili recipe that the farm has on their website. I substituted a little because of the ingredients I had on hand (lots of yummy veggies from my parent's neighbor's garden in NY).
RUSTIC BUFFALO CHILI
1 pound ground buffalo
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2-3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cans (8 oz. ea.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) small pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) black eyed peas, rinsed & drained
1 jalapeno, chopped finely
1 summer squash, diced
Coat surface of large pan with olive oil. Saute buffalo for 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add garlic, saute 5 minutes. Mix in jalapeno, squash, bell pepper, chili powder, salt, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, paprika and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans. Stir to blend and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Serve with condiments - shredded cheese, chopped green onion, sliced black olives, sour cream, tortilla chips.