12 Days of Gifts continues with a sophisticated take on venison chili.
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
2¼ lbs ground venison
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large poblanos, stemmed and diced
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, or to taste
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo
3 (14.5-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, preferably in tomato puree
2 (15-ounce) cans small red beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups beef stock
shredded sharp cheddar or Pepper jack cheese
diced red onions or sliced scallions
sliced jalapenos or serrano chiles
Heat a large Dutch oven or other wide, heavy saucepot over medium-high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Sprinkle the venison generously with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, crumble the venison into large chunks into the pot and sear until browned, transferring to a large bowl as done, 6 to 8 minutes per batch, adding more oil as needed.
Reduce the heat to medium. (If working on an electric range, you may need to remove the pot from heat to let it cool down a bit.)
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the poblanos, and onions, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot to cool it down a little faster.
Return to the heat and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, chile powder, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add the chipotles and tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or mashing with a potato masher, half of the beans, the stock, and the venison with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl.
Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
Transfer all contents to a slow cooker
Cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the venison is tender, about 2 hours.
Add the remaining beans and warm through. Adjust seasonings.
Serve the chili with the corn chips, cheese, sour cream, onions or scallions, and chiles.
Cooking Game: Venison Chili brought to you by Weston.