I have a love-hate relationship with venison. Good venison is expensive and hard to come by. The standard of lots of the venison sold in Irish butcher shops is, in my experience, variable at best. Buying from a good, reputable butcher is important, if one want’s to avoid some of the pitfalls. Having said that, I have no issue with the lovely venison meat in this post. I got it specifically to make a chilli with layers of flavour built by using a range of chillis. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the different types of dried Mexican chillis. They can offer great variety of flavour and a warming depth to any stew.
The chillis I used were as follows: Chipotle Morita, Mulato, Guajillo, Ancho and Pasilla. Anybody who knows their Mexican chillis will agree that this mixture will deliver a lovely set of flavours to any chilli. Now, here’s the ingredients list:
- 1 kilo of venison meat, cubed
- 500 gms of venison meat, ground
- 500ml of good quality venison or beef stock
- Chorizo or ordinary bacon lardons
- 500 gms of kidney beans
- 4 large onions
- 5 or 6 garlic cloves
- 20 gms achiote paste
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 6 types of chilli (2 each of the large ones 4 to 6 of the smaller)
- 2 bottles of beer
- 2 tins (400gms each) of plum tomatoes
Remove the stalks (and the seeds if you want a milder dish) from the chillis. Add hot water and soak for about 30 minutes. Use this time to chop the onions into bite-sized pieces and to add the lardons to a large casserole ahead of browning them and then the venison.
Chop the garlic small. Fry off the onions and garlic over a medium heat before adding them and all the other ingredients bar the beer to the browned venison.
I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pouring shots. These are more for my amusement than yours. Please bear with me.
Use some of the beer to deglaze the onion pan. Add this to the mix along with the balance of the beer.
Place the chillis and the soaking water in a blender. Blitz until you have a pungent, gloopy paste. Then add this to the casserole and stir to combine the ingredients.
Bring this to a boil. Pop on a lid and transfer to a 165ºC/330ºF fan oven for about three hours. At this stage, add the kidney beans. The beans add a good bit of carbohydrate to the chilli and, if you rehydrate your own, a good deal of goodness too.
Return this to the oven and leave it alone for about an hour. You should end up with a fine flavour filled chilli that will feed six to eight hungry adults. As I cooked this during the third lockdown, it fed two of us twice with another round waiting in the freezer. I served it with some buttered Naan breads and some grated Cheddar cheese. It would be just as nice served with corn bread, rice or a nice crusty roll.
I really do encourage you to experiment with the chillis. The flavours are amazing. Just be sure to buy good venison.