Tag Archives: Thunderheart Bison

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili and “Frito” Pie!

9 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I am going to join the blog world chili bandwagon. I have seen many a blog post about chili in the past few days and since I can think about cooking nothing but chili in this weather, I am going to throw in my two cents. This recipe would work for just straight up ground beef too. Bison and grass-fed beef are both very lean red meats. Fun fact: grass-fed beef and bison are far higher in Omega 3s than their corn fed cousins. Omega 3 is the good kind of fat that makes your cholestoral go down and your heart beat strong. Yay grass-fed red meat!!!! The bison I am using came from Thunderheart and the beef is from a Boggy Creek supplier.

In this version of the pie,  I am using blue corn tortilla chips, but you better believe I am missing those Fritos. I know that they don’t make me feel so hot, so on the blue corn high road I go. The cheese I am using is not the typical frito pie cheese either, but so melty and delicious is the mozarella from Full Quiver, that I can’t resist giving it a try. All of their cheeses are delicious, but I really have a soft spot for their moz. I have noticed is that I like to cook with beer and chili is no exception. I put some Negra Modelo in my chili and it really helps the flavors come along to drink the rest of the frosty beer while the chili cooks. This is totally a scientific fact.

In other news, I have gotten my website up at long last. I would love for you to visit and let me know what you think. There is a place in there for cooking questions under the classes section, so submit away!

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili

1 lb. ground bison

1 lb. grass-fed (and finished) beef

1 big yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 jalepenos, sliced

1/4 c. chili powder

2 T cumin

2 T olive oil

2 T salt

1 t. black pepper

1 c. crushed or chopped tomatoes

1/3 c. dark beer

3 T fine corn meal, optional (if your chili is thinner than you like, add this at the end and it will thicken it right up)

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and jalepenos and cook for 5 minutes. I like to get my onions just a little caramelized because I think it adds a great deep flavor. I leave the seeds in the jalepenos because I like my chili pretty spicy. If spicy is not your jam, remove the seeds. Once the onions take on a little brown color, add the garlic and let cook for a minute or so, then add the bison, beef, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and let brown. Once the meat is brownish, add the tomatoes and stir, then the beer and stir. Cover and turn the heat down to low and let cook for 1.5 hours. Every once in a while take the the lid of and stir and smell it. It smells good!

for the pie

Corn chips, if you are going anti-Frito, the chips need to be pretty dang hardy to stand up to the moisture of the chili.

Grated cheese, Full-Quiver or other local cheese

More jalepeno, mine are fire roasted and pickled by Larry from Boggy

Green Onion

Sour Cream, if you like it

Get a bowl, put the chips in it, top with chili and whichever of the condiments that suit your fancy. Then, dig in!!!

Challenge Update

The universe or global warming or whatever caused that cold snap last week tested our mettle with the challenge, but we stayed true. Here is what happened: our water heater busted on Wednesday and due to a part being shipped in, it wasn’t back up and running until yesterday. For a pair of women that aren’t eating out for a year, that meant boiling water to wash our dishes Laura Ingles Wilder style and mooching showers off of our dear friend Mandy. When our hero plumber Michael Hickey showed up yesterday I actually did a dance of joy. I was seconds away from a trip to Taco-Mex to avoid boiling my 110th giant pot of water to do the dishes. We made it, though and I feel way grittier for it!

If you want to get involved in the fight to protect our small farmers and artisan food makers, I encourage you to meet at the Capitol at 10 AM on February 21st for a lobbying day. It is put on by the fine folks at FARFA and a great way to show support and speak up! For information, click here.

I hope that you all keep warm and eat some chili or something really good!

Thank you for reading,

Not That Martha

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Blueberry and Peach Tart

9 Jul

It is proof of the divine that blueberries and peaches conspire to ripen together. I love this flavor combination more than I can properly tell you. There is a lot of sense-memory imbedded in these flavors. I remember them on my Mom’s homemade granola growing up. And my first attempts at baking involved peach and blueberry cobbler. I love each on its own, but the tart bite of the peach with the almost creamy sweet of the blueberry does something extra special for me. So now I have graduated to crust-making. This is an art that must be felt and practiced. It requires finesse. I started mine in a food processor, but quickly moved it all to the bowl and dug my hands in. One of the things I love best about cooking is the tactile business of it. It gives me permission to make a mess and play with my food. So, back to the crust…butter is the key here. Butter insists on being treated right or the crust just won’t behave. The butter must be ice cold, cut into pieces, and incorporated quickly with just the finger tips. Then, the butter needs to rest. God, I love butter.

The peaches I used today were grown by my proud father. The blueberries delivered to my door by Farm House Delivery. The honey from the downtown farmers market, gorgeous Guajillo honey from the good folks at Thunderheart. I used Alice Waters’ recipe for the pastry dough from The Art of Simple Food, a book I would save in the event of a fire.

I am satisfied with round one of pie dough making, but I have a long way to go. So, just get in there and try it! Channel that kid that sits inside of you (or the real live ones running around your table) and get your hands in the food. Make a real mess!

Now for the recipe. (makes 2 tarts!)

For the dough:

1/2 cup ice-cold water

2 cups AP flour

1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 sticks of cold cold butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces

For the filling:

4-5 peaches, sliced

1 cup blueberries

2 T guajillo honey

1/2 t cinnamon

For topping:

1/4 cup chopped almond

2 T dark brown sugar

Using finger tips,  combine the butter, flour and salt. Work quickly until a sandy texture is achieved. Pea-sized butter chunks are good because it makes the dough flakey. If using a food processor, pulse butter flour and salt together until sandy texture is achieved. At this point, add about half of the ice water. Look for the dough to just come together and form a ball when pressed together, so keep adding the water until this consistency is achieved (all water may not be used). Divide the crust into 2 even parts, wrap it in plastic and smash it into a disc, then put it in the refridgerator to chill for an hour or so.

While the dough is chilling, combine filling ingredients.

Once dough is chilled, flour a counter top, top of the dough and rolling pin. Working from the middle, roll dough out until desired thinness. I like to roll mine into a rectangle. Place filling in the middle of rectangle and fold together. Top with almonds and dark brown sugar. Bake on 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

*Alternatively, take a short cut and drive to the store and purchase some ready made dough and scratch make the filling.

Thanks for reading!

Not That Martha

PS Thanks to my Tomato Class! That sure was a fun group. And, I still have a couple of spots available for next week’s Squash Class.