It’s winter. It started about December 21. At least officially, that is. And it seems that El Nino is making itself felt.
Colder than average seems to be in store for portions of the Southwest, Southern Plains, Southeast and East Coast. Then, the outlook according to the Weather Channel Professional Division, “warmer-than-average temperatures are expected from the West Coast, the Northwest in particular, eastward into the Upper Midwest and interior sections of the Northeast.”
Regardless of the weather predictions, winter is chili time, although there are some that would argue when the least bit of cool weather comes around, it’s time to heat up the chili pot.
In this post, we’re going to unleash an elk chili recipe, courtesy of The Spice House and second generation spice merchants Tom and Patty Erd. A family member that seldom misses his hunting outing every year in Colorado always comes back with delicious elk meat to cook with, and that eventually inspired Tom and Patty to come up with this Elk and Bean chili recipe.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 5 large onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup dutched cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chili powder, medium hot, divided in half
- 1/8 cup ground cumin, divided in half
- 1 pound elk hamburger (venison or beef may be used)
- 2-28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes with juice
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-30 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1-4 ounce can diced green chilies
- 1 fresh jalapeno, diced (deseed and devein if you don’t like the heat)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chili pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cassia cinnamon
Serves / Yields
8-10 Main Course Servings
Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes.
Mix in the cocoa powder, half of the chili powder and cumin, and the oregano. Cook 1 minute.
Add the elk (or other meat) and cook until browned, about 7-10 minutes. Mix in tomatoes and honey. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add beans, water, salt, chipotle, cinnamon and other half of the chili powder and cumin. Bring to boil over high heat and then reduce to medium and simmer uncovered until it thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir often.
Season with salt. Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly before serving or refrigerating. You can also freeze it for future use.
Assorted toppings go well with this chili: sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, shredded cheeses, diced hot peppers, and shaved bittersweet chocolate.