Rivalry Stew

Welcome to football in Montana. You need something hot and hearty to keep your friends and family going during the pre-game festivities, action during play and post-game celebrations. This means you can’t just settle for any old chili to get the job done — you need the official unofficial chili of the Cat/Griz game.

With any slow-cooking recipe, the goal is to get the meat as tender and soft as the Griz’s offensive line, and the flavors as exciting and unpredictable as the Cats’ kicking unit. This take on a classic four-bean chili incorporates two types of protein which gives a nod to the Brawl of the Wild. If you are fortunate enough to have some extra meat handy from a recent hunt, feel free to throw it in with the mix or replace the beef entirely. In addition, ground buffalo adds a unique flavor and it is highly recommended to use in this recipe. Have some duck or other game birds and don’t know what to do with them? A slow-cooking chili should tenderize the tough meat and make your football party a hit.

In this recipe the spices are more like guidelines as everyone has their preferences. The combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and traditional chili powder is both delicious and original, but if you are on a budget or don’t like the taste, some taco seasoning or generic chili mix both work fine as substitutes.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 garlic cloves

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. Sirloin steak

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 pinch oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 can tomato chunks

1 can tomato paste

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

1 can red beans

1 can pinto beans

1 large diced red pepper

1 large diced green pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic for approximately five minutes. Add pepper and salt and cook for another five minutes. Remove from pan.
  2. In the same pan, brown the ground beef and steak. For an enhanced flavor, the steak could be grilled and diced then added later.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the meat.
  4. Add chili powder, oregano and cumin. Mix in thoroughly.
  5. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir. Add all beans. Bring to boil.
  6. Transfer to crock pot, reduce heat to simmer. Add in diced peppers, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Cover and let simmer for several hours. Add salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin to taste.
  7. This fabulous chili works both as a comfort food in a time of loss and a victory soup in the event of total domination. Enjoy!