Venison Chili with Snowcap Beans

Ingredients

    For the beans:

  • 16 ounces dried snowcap beans
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp salt

  • For the chili:

  • 8 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 lbs lean venison, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet pork sausage, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • two 14 1/2-oz cans whole tomatoes
  • 2 tblsp masa harina dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Preparation

  • Soak the beans overnight. Pick out any bad ones any stones. Wash the beans and place them in a large pot filled with water. Place the garlic, coriander seeds, and bay leaf in a cheesecloth bag or tea ball and add to the beans in the water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the beans 1 hour, until tender. Discard the spices. Drain the beans well and set aside while you make the chili. Add the salt.
  • Place the chiles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes, until soft; then seed and stem them. In a food processor or blender, puree the chiles with 1 cup water until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, brown the bell pepper, onions, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil until they are soft. Set aside. In a large Dutch oven, brown the venison and sausage in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Drain the excess fat. Add the bell pepper mixture along with the salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, sugar, and 3 cups water. Add the tomatoes, smashing each in the palm of your hand before adding it to the pot. Add the chile puree, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, partially covered, at a low boil for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat. Add the masa harina mixture, stirring to thicken the chili. Return the chili to the heat and cook 7 more minutes. Serve in deep bowls atop a bed of snowcap beans.
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