Wild Game Chili

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Feb 6, 2010
Central Texas
3 Poblano Chilis
6 Ancho Chilis
1/2# bacon, ground
1# venison, 1/4" cube
1# wild boar, 1/4" cube
2#'s yellow onions, 1/4" dice
1/2C garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
2C tomatoes, 1/4" dice
2C veal stock
  • While a main-stay in restaurants, not usually found at home. You can sub veal demi-glace or you can use Williams-Sonoma's concentrated demi in a jar or you can look on-line for a "semi-demi". The one I used was from Cook's Ill. Instead of straining it, I used all of it. Adds a very nice silky, deep, rich, flavor base

Juice and zest of one lime
2Tbl brown sugar
3Tbl cumin
1/4C chili powder
1Tbl cayenne pepper

To make this more Fearless, I add:

1 can Chipotle chili's + adobo
3 Serano chili's
1 Large Jalepeno (sometimes have no heat at all..nothing more than a bell pepper. Serano's are far more consistently hot.)
4 bottles Shiner Bock beer (dark, sweet local lager. No IPA's here...you'll regret it.)
3 Tbl Smoked Paprika
1 Small can tomatoe paste
1 Small can tomatoe sauce

  • Since I don't have a gas stove, I blister the skins off the poblanos with a plumber's torch, then put them in a plastic bag to steam. (adds great aroma to kitchen)
  • Remove stems & seeds from anchos. Soak in 1/2C warm water to soften. Puree in blender or FP with a little beer if it's too thick.
  • I roughly cut straight across a pack of 1# bacon, then grind it in the food processor (FP).
  • Good neighbor gave me 2#'s of venison backstrap! Now I have enough for another batch...
  • Same neighbor was out of wild pig though, so I sub'd pork steaks. S. Tx is over-run with wild pig (javelina). They are tasty if prep'd right. He brought me a whole shoulder one year and I smoked it with pecan wood...tasty.
  • You'll need a large 10-12" skillet or an 8-qrt Dutch Oven. Toss the ground bacon in to render it, keep stiring and don't let it burn. Reserve both bacon & rendered fat.
  • Brown meat in small batches in hot iron skillet/dutch oven using bacon fat as needed. You want a rich brown color, not gray. Fond is a great thing, just don't let it burn.
  • Remove the last of the browned meat and saute the vegetables (onions, garlic, celery & poblanos). The water released will deglaze the pan. Don't let the garlic burn or it'll taste bitter.
  • Add cooked bacon, then tomatoes, veal stock, lime juice & zest, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder and pureed anchos.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. It'll no doubt be thick. I added enough dark lagers (4) + one can of reduced sodium beef stock to loosen it up.
  • Dump the meat back in, stir from bottom to top to turn over and don't let it scorch!
  • Once it's thoroughly warmed, I put a lid on the pot and stick it in a 250° oven. This way it's more evenly heated and you don't have to stir it. Having just made this batch, I intend to leave it in the oven overnight. (Besides...it's 30° outside and I could use the heat...)
  • I just finished my first bowl..with my amendments...the heat is there, but not in your face. The flavor is big, round, deep, meaty and earthy, with a touch of smoke due to the smoked paprika and can of chipotle's (smoked jalepenos)...just what you want in a chili when it's cold outside.
  • At present, it could do with a touch of salt...better to have to add though than have it unpalatable. To quench the heat, rely on dairy fat (sour cream & real cheese) and avocados. I'd also recommend squeezing in a bit of fresh lime just before serving to brighten it up a bit. First chili of the season and actually cold enough here to enjoy it!

    Cheers & dark beers!

we don't have wild boar around here. Can I substitute possum meat? We have plenty for free just sitting frozen on the side of every road.
Originally Posted By: Barkleymut
we don't have wild boar around here. Can I substitute possum meat? We have plenty for free just sitting frozen on the side of every road.

What ever floats-yer-boat...might be a bit gamey though...I'd go with squirrel instead...
ok, there are two in every tree around here. Once the temperatures come back up to where I can feel my face again I may get a couple.... I just sighted in my .22 last month, they will be easy pickins
Looks really good and a great way to cook game. Cubed meat in chili makes a world of difference that I do not think most people realize. Chili is fun and its nearly impossible to make a bad pot, but when you come across a great pot you'll appreciate it.

I make a similar recipe just with the addition of cubed poultry of any variety in addition to the red meat of choice, pig of choice, and of course the bacon flavor base. Try a bar of chocolate and/or a tbs of instant coffee in the mix if you feel like experimenting. Adds an interesting flavor with the peppers. I like habanero, so I usually reserve a bit of chili off to the side for a firey mix. That definitely needs the chocolate to take off the edge.
Sounds tasty. I like the plumber's torch idea. I made a bit of a mess doing them on the stove burner...........
Browning cubed meat does take longer however it makes a lot of difference flavor-wise.

I have added freeze-dried espresso powder before or just a cup of strong coffee and liked the effect. One ingredient I added but forgot to list was 2-3 tsp of cinammon. I've never tried chocolate in chili before. However, it does go well with ancho chilis...but then we're getting close to a mole (moh-lay) sauce.
Originally Posted By: MuzzleFlash40
Sounds good, minus the brown sugar. I don't like things real sweet.

That's not enough brown sugar to really sweeten it. I use 2c in my very large batch and it is not noticeably sweet.
Originally Posted By: totegoat
Sounds tasty. I like the plumber's torch idea. I made a bit of a mess doing them on the stove burner...........

Yep, I especially like recipes where I get to use the torch and other workshop tools when cooking. A drill-press makes a great stationary mixer in a pinch...
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