Two large bags of dried chiles have been taunting me each time I pass by the pantry. Our trips to the U.S. always end in a “stock up” spree to feverishly gather items not found this side of the border. On these visits I shop like we are going underground for a few years.
I went slightly chile mad on my last jaunt to New York, so I best start using them like I mean it. A variety of chiles and peppers in different forms adds delicious complexity to a pot of chili, so I have used dried, preserved, fresh and powder for this recipe. Use whatever you can score at your local market.
The deer meat was given to me by my uncle but substitute beef or turkey if you cannot find venison from a purveyor or generous hunter in your area.
2 dried guajillo chiles
2 dried ancho chiles
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium Spanish onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 ½ pound/.680 kilograms ground venison
1 red bell pepper, chopped
26.46 ounces/750 grams boxed chopped tomatoes
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Tortilla chips or rice, to serve
Queso fresco, to serve
Rehydrate the dried chiles by soaking them in boiling water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water, remove the stems and grind the chile peppers with the onion and garlic into a paste using a food processor. Set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, brown the venison. Add the chile paste, red bell pepper, tomatoes, beans and seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes. Serve over tortilla chips or rice with crumbled queso fresco.
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