West Texas Venison Chili
(makes 6 to 8 servings)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 lbs. coarsely ground venison or beef
2 large yellow onions, diced medium
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
4 plum tomatoes, cored and diced medium
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cornmeal
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
Heat a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the venison and cook until it begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion becomes soft, 2 minutes.
Stir in the chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar, and cook until all of the meat is coated with the spices, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beer, and water, and bring the chili to a simmer. Cook the chili at a low simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the flavors come together and the texture thickens. During the cooking, add water to keep the chili moist as the liquid evaporates.
At the end of the cooking time, sprinkle the cornmeal over the chili and stir in. Cook until the cornmeal is cooked through and has slightly thickened the chili, 10 to 15 minutes. Ladle the hot chili into warm bowls and top with cheddar cheese and diced onion.
Reprinted with permission from Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook: Recipes from Lambert’s Texas Kitchens by Louis Lambert and June Naylor, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.