Colorado Chili

  • Servings: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: ~ 5 minutes
  • Cook time: ~ 45- 60 minutes


  • 1 13 oz can organic kidney beans
  • 5 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pinches Oregano and Sage salt
  • 1 large organic bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bison, venison, or beef, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds Andouille sausage
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano and Sage salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 3 cups spring water
  • 1 28 ounce can Fire Roasted Organic whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal dissolved in 1/2 cup spring water

This chili is very hearty and has a delicious kick that will get rid of all your head cold symptoms! Your kids probably will not eat this due to the heat but you will love it. It is perfect for game day get togethers or a cold, rainy day. Plus, it has plenty of protein, fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. Bell peppers and garlic are two of the foods you should be eating to protect yourself from the flu.

Since so many of us are short on time and cannot spend all day cooking, I simplified the recipe from my father’s  cookbook so you can make this in 1 hour. Using canned kidney beans eliminates soaking them over night but if you have time, I recommend soaking them to avoid the aluminum exposure. The Ultimate Cookbook recipe below tells you how to soak the beans and prepare them.

Since garlic is so good for you, I did not remove the garlic cloves in the beans. If you have guests, I suggest you spoon them out along with the bay leaf. Save the garlic for a sandwich or another dinner.

If you do not love spice, add some sour cream or guacamole. Cumin flavored gouda from Star Provisions or cheddar cheese melted on top is also recommended.

For wine to pair with this chili, Perrine’s Wine Shop recommended a Chilean wine made from organically grown grapes called Anka Pargua II, Maipo Valley. Anka Pargua II means “full moon’s belly” in the native Mapuche language. The wine is a complex red from 2007. Only 2,500 cases were made.



1) Chop one organic bell pepper. I used an orange one. Then add a pinch of Oregano and Sage salt to 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and mince. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the pepper and garlic. Set aside when they are tender.

2) Add more olive oil and brown the bison pieces cut to 1/4 inch chunks and andouille sausages in the casing. Set aside.

3) Add the cooked pepper and garlic, 1 tablespoon Oregano and Sage Salt, 2 tablespoons cane sugar, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Pepper Ground depending on how much spice you want and mix well. Add 3 cups spring water and the can of fire roasted organic tomatoes. Smash the whole tomatoes with your hands first or use a spoon to crush them in the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down and boil on low for 30 minutes.

4) Add one can (BPA free) of kidney beans, 1 bay leaf, and 2 pinches of Oregano and Sage salt to the pot and bring to slow boil. Then simmer while the tomato sauce is boiling. Before you serve the beans, remove the bay leaf. Leaving the antioxidant rich garlic is optional.

5) Add 2 tablespoons FINELY ground corn meal or flour ( organic or non GMO) to 1/2 cup spring water. Mix so the corn meal dissolves and pour into the tomato chili sauce. Stir and it will thicken.

6) Peel the casing off the sausage and add the andouille to the tomato chili sauce. Since I only browned the outside of the sausage at the beginning, the inside was not cooked. It took about 5 minutes to fully cook and sausage.  Now add the bison pieces to warm them. Turn the heat to a simmer while you serve.

7) Place the beans in a bowl and then add the chili meat sauce. Sprinkle so gouda or cheddar and add some avocado pieces. Sour cream is very good with this chili too and will mellow the spice. Enjoy!

The Ultimate Cookbook

Colorado Chili
Preparation time: about 30 minutes Cooking time: 3 hours Standing time: overnight, plus 30 minutes

1 pound dried snowcap beans (found in some gourmet and health food stores), kidney beans, or Anasazi beans
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
8 dried ancho chiles
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
½ pounds lean vension or beef, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 ½ pounds sweet pork sausage, cut into 1-inch cubes (or remove casing and crumble)
1 tablespoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 (14 ½-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons masa harina or cornmeal dissolved in ½ cup water

Soak the beans overnight. In the morning, pick out any bad ones and any stones. Wash the beans and place them in a large pot filled with water. Place the garlic, coriander seeds and bay leaf in a cheesecloth bag or tea ball and add to the beans in the water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook the beans 1 hour, until tender. Discard the spices. Drain the beans well and set aside while you make the chili. Place the chilies in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes, until soft, then seed and stem them. In a food processor or blender, puree the chilies with 1 cup water until smooth. Set aside. In a large skillet, brown the bell pepper and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil until they are soft. Set aside. In a large Dutch oven, brown the vension or beef and sausage in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Drain the excess fat. Add the bell pepper mixture along with the salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, sugar and 3 cups water. Add the tomatoes, smashing each one in the palm of your hand before adding to the pot. Add the chili puree, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered at a low boil for 1 ½ hours. Remove from the heat. Add the masa harina or cornmeal mixture, stirring to thicken the chili. Return the chili to the heat and cook 7 more minutes. Serve in deep bowls atop a bed of beans. Yield: 10 servings

“Colorado Cache”, a community cookbook that called it “Daddy’s Vension Chili.”

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