Weekly Menu Spotlight: Super Bowls of Chili

Chili is always an after thought in our house. I’ve cooked it once in my life and probably only eaten it a few more times. But, once a year when the Super Bowl rolls around, it seems like a logical dish to make for chilly weather and large, ornery, beer swilling crowds

On a recent trip to Rare Cuts, David Lynn mentioned that nine pounds of ground venison meat was on its way to the shop. I quickly asked him to reserve three pounds and set about researching the most satisfying and rich recipes I could find. I’ve heard that everything is bigger in Texas, so for a Dallas hosted Super Bowl a big, bold chili of Venison sounded appropriate. Chili it seems, is a pretty basic food and not surprisingly, most of the recipes I found bore quite a lot of resemblance to one another.

The ones that stood out included large quantities of bacon, peppers, black beans and red wine.

Here is what I came up with after searching for an adequate recipe and finding I would need to create my own:

Serves 10 hungry football fans

1 stick unsalted butter
1 red onion, chopped
1 spanish onion, chopped
10 large cloves of garlic, diced
3 yellow bell peppers, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 bottle red wine (preferably cabernet)
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp ground cumin
4 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup canola oil
2 lbs chopped bacon
3 lbs ground venison
3 cans drained black beans
1 large can diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and peppers and sweat until softened and fragrant

Stir in the brown sugar until fully melted and then stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste, chicken stock, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cilantro and salt.
Simmer for roughly 45 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced by about half.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the bacon and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bacon is browned.

Once bacon is finished add the venison to the skillet. Season the meat with salt to taste and until browned.

Stir in the beans and diced tomato and mix. Transfer this mixture to the simmering pot.

Mix everything together thoroughly and let simmer for about 20 more minutes

This recipe yields a huge amount of chili, so be prepared for at least a few days of leftovers. It’s obviously a very rich version of classic chili, made even more so by the heavy, dense taste of the venison. We topped the chili off with greyere, scallions, and pico de gaillo, all of which added a great chunky consistency to the meal. If you are feeling a bit weighed down by the dish consider halving the bacon or omitting it all together. I wouldn’t though, everything is better with bacon.