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Venison Chili

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Venison Chili

When your gun-toting, game-hunting uncle gives you a bag of meat born of his weekends in the woods of Pennsylvania, you smile real wide, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to experiment. This time around, The Blue Cleaver has got a sack of ground venison, two empty stomachs, and a few odds and ends around the kitchen. Yes, friends, we're making chili.

Any fool can make chili, which is why it's so darn popular in Texas. Heh. We just "messed with Texas."

Just kidding, Texas, you're great. So meat-eating, so boot-wearing, so twangy-accented, we do love you.

Ok, so the chili. You can make a pretty decent pot in under an hour, though true aficionados demand longer simmering. For a chili like ours, which serves four, you'll need to have about a pound of meat, a medium sized onion, three cloves of garlic, one 16 oz. can of beans (black or kidney are best), and at least 8 oz. of crushed tomatoes to form the base. What you add from there is up to you.

Venison Chili Meat

Sloppy Giuseppe Meat

Start by chopping the onion and pressing the garlic, then saut� them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil or butter. When the garlic is golden and the onions good and sweaty, add the meat and cook until it's browned.

Venison Chili Ingredients

Drain the can of beans and dump them into a stew pot. Add in the meat/onion/garlic mixture, straining away the oil and juices, and stir.

Venison Chili Ingredients

Now you can add all the other crazy stuff you've got lying around. We added about a cup of corn for substance, plus a variety of Mexican-inflected seasonings. The Blue Cleaver measures with our eyes, but think about three tablespoons of buckwheat honey, two tablespoons of fresh (frozen) cilantro, two teaspoons of espazote, one teaspoon of oregano, one whole dried New Mexico chili pepper, three bay leaves, two generous pinches of ground chipotle, and salt to taste.

Venison Chili

Let it simmer as long as you can, up to 2 hours. We ate ours at 45 minutes, and it was pretty darn tasty.

Venison Chili

Serve with a garnish of cr�me fraiche, sour cream, or Greek-style yogurt and some good bread. Bambi, you're yummy.


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