As with most soups, stews or chili-this is awesome on day one, and REALLY AMAZING on day two. So, a perfect make ahead dish if you’re feeding a crowd. Super Bowl Plans, anyone?
Yields: About 6-8 servings as a main course
3 lbs ground venison (or Red Stag, or Oryx, or Fallow Deer, or Gemsbok, or Black Buck- never mind, the Black Buck wasn't very good- but we've tried them all.) Or as a last ditch effort, you could run to the grocery store and actually just use beef. Assuming the zombies haven't closed it down
6 oz smoked pork jowl-1/4 inch dice (my hubby turned me on to this lovely, flavorful jewel of smoked meat, but if you don't keep it around- just use thick cut, good quality bacon)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes. (I use San Marzano- their acid level is lower than most and my big, tough, hunter husband has a sensitive tummy)
2 large sweet onions- chopped
2 poblano peppers-seeded and chopped
2 jalapenos- seeded and chopped
1 large shallot, chopped fine
6-8 large garlic cloves -chopped fine (in my house there really is no such thing as too much)
4T Chili Powder
2 T ground cumin
2T garlic powder
couple pinches smoked paprika
1 T grape seed oil
1 bottle beer (or beef stock- but I'm telling you- beer is better)
Heat the grape seed oil in a large, wide pot over medium high heat.
Toss in the chopped, smoked pork jowl (or bacon) and cook until most of the fat is rendered off.
Pour off most of the fat into a bowl. Don't ditch the fat just yet-we'll use a little more later. The venison is so lean, the pork jowl adds a little needed fat.) It is also the secret to making this chili so smoky, meaty and flavorful.
Add the ground meat to your pot.
Over medium to medium high heat, brown the meat, season with 3 T of the chili powder, 1 1/2 T cumin, 1 T garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Once browned, pour meat into a bowl and set aside.
Add a little of the reserved rendered fat to the pan and sauté the chopped onions about 5 minutes. Season with the other 1T of chili powder, 1/2T cumin, 1T garlic powder, salt, pepper and a couple pinches of smoked paprika. (The smoked paprika is the other secret ingredient - don't tell)
Deglaze your pot with a splash of the beer-scraping up any browned bits off the bottom. Once it evaporates, add the poblanos & jalapenos.
Sauté another 5-7 minutes until onions and peppers are tender.
Add shallot and fresh chopped garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
Add the meat back in to your onion/pepper mixture and add the crushed tomatoes and about 1/2 the bottle of beer. I used Blue Moon-just use what you have on hand.
Continue to cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. If you need more liquid add a little more beer or beef stock.
Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes while you enjoy the other half of the beer.
After you've finished your beer, whip up a batch of my Alan's famous Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread.