How to Make Bandit’s Bison Chili

Royal Oak’s Bandit Tavern & Hideaway shares their bison chili recipe for you to try at home.
Photograph by Rebecca Simonov

Bandit Tavern & Hideaway in Royal Oak offers Southern-style dishes including fried chicken, honey-glazed salmon, and shrimp & grits. Try making the bison chili, which can be found on their Rations menu, at home with this copycat recipe.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground bison
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced Spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 4.5-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 5.5-ounce can V8 juice
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon beef broth concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeños
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Ancho chile seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 14-ounce cans whole stewed tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 14-ounce can dark red kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, undrained
  • 1 14-ounce chili beans, undrained
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  • Sour cream, white cheddar, and scallions, for serving


  1. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a heavy-bottom stockpot. Brown off the ground bison. Once browned, add masa and stir over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté onions and celery until softened and slightly translucent. Add minced garlic and green chiles.
  3. Dissolve the beef broth concentrate in hot water and add all the dry spices and seasoning. Whisk well and set aside.
  4. Add the tomato juice and all tomato products to the stockpot of onions and celery over medium heat. Next add the hot water, beef broth, and spice mix.
  5. In a blender, add the Cholula, anchovy, chipotle, and jalapeños. Blend until smooth and add to the pot.
  6. Add the browned buffalo and masa mixture and stir well. Add in all the beans and corn.
  7. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, and cook for 45 minutes.
  8. Serve garnished with sour cream, white cheddar, and scallions and enjoy!

Bandit Tavern & Hideaway is located at 419 S. Main St., Royal Oak. Call 248-544-6250 or visit for more information. 

This story is from the February 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition. Plus, find even more recipes from area restaurants including Oak & Reels Seasonal Crostini and Le Suprême’s Trout Amandine at