Thursday, August 30, 2007

Buffalicious


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
Serves 8

Ingredients

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
Olive Oil

Directions:

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.

I was really happy with the way this turned out. To be honest, I was slightly nervous before I started cooking (I don't really know why - no chili experience I guess), but it was really easy and seemed foolproof. This is a dish that you definitely want to keep tasting as you go along to determine salt level. I added a bunch more than the recipe called for. The flavors meld with cooking though....mmmmm.....we had it with some sharp cheddar and zucchini bread Randi made. A perfect meal.

4 comments:

AlliXT said...

I love love love chili :-D. In fact I was downing chili-veggie dogs last night (thank you happy medicines that let my tummy relax).

Someone recently asked me what I would do if someone ever told me that I had to eat meat or die--after much consideration I said that I thought I would try to eat buffalo (although digesting it would probably be another issue). no joke.

My parents love this stuff too.

AlliXT said...

PS--I always add a tablespoon of Cholula hot sauce to my chili when I have it on hand. It won't overwhelm your chili with spiciness but it will add a little "somethin extra."

mom said...

So when are you coming home to make Buffalo chili for us. Sounds delicious! Love you. Oh and I used your canned tomatoes to top my stuffed eggplant. And we ate up all the jam already! Keep cooking, Love you Mom.

Selah said...

Buffalos are sexy.

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