Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 15, 2017

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Venison chili

From Buttermilk in Aspen, CO

With its authentic saloon ambiance and lively yet casual atmosphere, the ever-popular J-Bar has been Aspen’s favorite watering hole for well over a century. It’s located inside the Hotel Jerome, which has a longstanding tradition of culinary excellence showcased in its variety of dining options. Chef Rich Hinojosa, formerly of J-Bar, served this scrumptious venison chili with buttermilk cornbread.


¼ c. (60 ml) canola oil
1 lb. (450 g) venison stew meat, 1-in. (1.25-cm) cubed
2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 1/2 jalapeños, seeded and small diced
¼ c. (60 ml) fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. (10 ml) dried cumin
1⁄8 c. (30 ml) smoked paprika
2 tsp. (10 ml) dried oregano
1 tsp. (5 ml) cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. (15 ml) chili powder
¾ c. (180 ml) dry red wine
¼ c. (60 ml) ruby port
¼ c. (60 ml) brown sugar
1 32 oz. (910 g) canned kidney beans, rinsed
1 32 oz. (910 g) canned whole plum tomatoes, with liquid
4 c. (1 L) water
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a stock pot until hot, but not smoking. Add the venison meat and brown on all sides. Do not burn.

Remove the meat from the pot and reserve. In the same pot, sauté the onions and jalapeños until translucent. Add the garlic and dry spices, and sauté until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the meat back into the pot, and then add the wine and port. Simmer and let the liquid reduce by 75 percent.

Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Crush the whole tomatoes roughly with your hands and add to the pot with the beans, water, salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Cook until the meat is tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Serves 6.

Serving suggestion: Ladle the chili into an oven-proof soup bowl, melt grated sharp cheddar cheese on top, then add sour cream and diced green onions.

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