Federal City’s Buffalo Chili Recipe from SAVOR

By Julia Herz

The Brewers Association—presenters of both CraftBeer.com and the recent SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience in Washington, D.C.—conducted a poll from a sampling of attendees at SAVOR to identify their favorite pairing of the evening. Several of the top choices were craft beers paired with cheese or truffles. One great pick was an IPA (Florida Beer Company’s IPA) with chili. But this wasn’t just any chili. SAVOR caterers Federal City Caterers served up their savory buffalo chili with a cheddar chive biscuit to boot. Consider giving this recipe a try and posting a comment to let us know your feedback!

Suggested fun experiment

Try pairing the chili with several different India Pale Ales (IPA) to see how they work with the chili. Does the craft beer both complement and contrast the dish? Pay attention to how the malt in the craft beer might soothe the heat of the dish. Or try this dish with other craft beer taking direction from the SAVOR breweries that paired a different style with it. Styles in addition to IPA that were paired with the chili at SAVOR included: Amber Lager from Boston Beer Company, Boulevard Pilsner from Boulevard Brewing Company, IPA from Coronado Brewing Company, Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Co., Belgian Pale Ale from Harpoon Brewery, Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company, Brown Ale from Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery, Blonde Ale from Real Ale Brewing Co., Belgo Tripel Double IPA from Rock Bottom Des Moines and Chocolate Stout from Rogue Ales.


Federal City’s Buffalo Chili With Mini-Cheddar-Bacon-Chive Biscuit
Serves 6-8


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lean ground buffalo meat
1 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 Poblano or Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 fire-roasted skinned, seeded-Jalapeno pepper, chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, rolled in olive oil, roasted and mashed
1 large can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
12 ounces dark beer-such as Sam Adams Boston Lager
½ tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces chipotle sauce or fresh salsa
1 bay leaf
1 large can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 large can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
Salt to taste
Ground white pepper to taste


Dollop of Sour Cream-Optional
Chopped Fresh cilantro
Chopped Scallions


Heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped Vidalia onions and mashed garlic, Poblano & Jalapeno peppers. Stir & cook together for 10 minutes. Add ground meat and cook over medium heat (while breaking up the meat into small pieces) until all meat is browned. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pot several times to make sure that all ingredients are mixed together.

Stir in the spices, tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, Chipotle sauce or salsa, bay leaf and beer and beans. Again scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.

Serve with Garnishes with Cheddar-Bacon-Biscuits


Cheddar-Bacon-Fresh Chive Biscuits
Makes 24-Mini


6 thick-cut bacon slices
3 ¾ cups bread flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing
2 ½ cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1 ¾ cups chilled buttermilk


Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).

Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/4 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes.

*Any republishing of this recipe must state: Recipe courtesy of Federal City Caterers.