Forget Pumpkin Spice Lattes, okay? I mean, don’t completely forget about them, but when October hits, all I can think about is football food. And not that summery fresh corn soup I made a while ago — I mean rich, meaty Texas-style chili.
Of course, this still is pumpkin week. So I guess you can think of this recipe as the Pumpkin Spice Latte of chili. There’s cinnamon and there’s pumpkin, but there’s also that incredible meatiness that only chili con carne has. Add spice from the peppers and a flavor bomb in the form of roasted pumpkin and pumpkin puree, and you have the quintessential fall meal that pairs perfectly with a side of college football.
Oh yeah, and there’s bison meat. Don’t believe the naysayers — bison is amazing. It can be hard to cook with bison, as it really is leaner than beef and needs extra care. However, if you take the time to prepare it properly, it will reward you with incredible flavor — and, a friend of mine claims, the feeling of having been “punched by protein” (in a good way).
As you can see, I topped this with cheese and sour cream. The dish itself is paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free, but I would recommend adding a little sour cream or serving this with bread if that fits into your dietary restrictions. I actually heated up a few tortillas and used them as dippers, which was an excellent choice as well.
But serving suggestions aside, you need to make this chili or else your fall won’t be complete. Do it.
- 3 cups chopped, peeled pumpkin (deal with this like a butternut squash)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pounds of ground bison
- 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 or 2 red jalapenos, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes with their liquid
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup bone broth or water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss pumpkin with olive oil, then spread on a foil-lined baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for 40 to 45 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large stock pot or Dutch oven, brown the bison over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper, if you like. Once bison is nicely browned and no pink remains, drain the meat (if necessary) and set aside.
- In the same pan, sauté the peppers, onion, jalapeno, and garlic until tender, about eight minutes. Add bison and roasted pumpkin, and stir to incorporate.
- Add tomatoes (and juice), spices, broth or water, and pumpkin puree. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, simmering for at least one hour.
- Serve with the chili accoutrements of your choice. Enjoy the taste of autumn.