1/4 LB slab bacon, diced
1 med. onion, coarsely chopped
6 med. carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise; and cut into chunks
2 Ts chili powder
2 Ts ground cumin
1 Ts dried marjoram or oregano
1/4 Ts red pepper flakes
2 LB venison shoulder, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed (28 oz)
1 1/2 c de-fatted chicken broth (or beef broth)
1/2 c red wine
1/4 c tomato paste
1 can dark-red kidney beans, drained (16 oz)
1 c baby Lima beans
3 c cooked rice or barley (optional)
I like to start off this chili with bacon. Once it browns, use 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat to wilt the vegetables - then one more tablespoon of the fat should be enough to brown the venison. Since the meat is lean, brown it quickly over high heat.
1. Brown the bacon in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon fat; discard the rest.
2. Place 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in a casserole; add the onion and carrots, sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, marjoram and red pepper flakes, then cook for 5 minutes. Add the reserved bacon.
3. Pour the remaining tablespoon of bacon fat back into the skillet. Brown the venison over medium-high heat in small batches and remove to the casserole with a slotted spoon. (The meat should brown quickly, so raise the heat to high if necessary.)
4. Add the tomatoes, broth, wine and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat if the chili begins to boil.
5. Add the kidney beans and lima beans, then adjust the seasonings. Simmer 10 minutes longer or until meat is tender.
6. Serve the chili hot in 6 bowls (over rice or barley, if desired).
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