Venison & Black Bean Chili

Jim Campbell readily admits he hasn’t pick up much when it comes to cooking. Here are a couple of recipes from his more culinary gifted friends.

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 to 2½ pound venison roast (boned & trimmed) chopped coarsely
  • 2 ancho peppers, cored and seeded
  • 1 pound onions, chopped coarsely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ small head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ 12-ounce bottles dark beer
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 other chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet. Pour in ¼ cup oil. Over medium heat, sauté the venison until the liquid evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn meat to cook on all sides.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the remaining ¼ cup oil. Over medium heat, sauté the ancho peppers for 2 minutes. Remove the chilies and reserve. In the same pot, sauté the onions until they are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, cumin and paprika and mix thoroughly.

Cook the anchos in 2 cups of chicken stock until very soft. Place in a large bowl with the chicken stock and purée until smooth. Pour into the pot with the sautéed onions and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the tomatoes, the venison, the beer, and cook over medium heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chilies, oregano, thyme, lemon juice and zest and mix well.

Add the drained beans and the cilantro and stir in the molasses. Correct seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves.

To serve: Serve the chili in bowls, topped with bits of cheese. Pass some corn bread, bowls of chopped onions and sour cream.