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    Recipe from Bobby Flay Cooks American: Great Regional Recipes with Sizzling New Flavors
    Copyright © 2001 by Bobby Flay

    yields5/6 people time--- difficultymoderate


    For the chili:
    1/2 cup olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 pounds venison, lamb, or beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 large red onion, finely diced 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder 1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder or another pure chile powder 1 tablespoon freshly ground cumin 1 bottle dark beer, such as Negro Modelo One 16-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained and pureed 8 cups Chicken Stock or low-sodium canned stock 1 tablespoon chipotle puree 1 tablespoon honey 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice Freshly chopped cilantro White Cornbread (see below)

    For the crema:
    1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large poblano chile, roasted, peeled seeded, and chopped 1 cup Mexican crema, crème fraîche, or sour cream thinned with buttermilk 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice Salt and freshly ground pepper

    The debate over chili -- all meat, or meat and beans? -- seems pretty simple to me. I never leave out something that tastes good, and black beans definitely qualify. This is one of my favorite winter lunches, whether I make it with farm-raised venison (which is delicious, meaty, and not gamy at all) or lamb or even buffalo.

    The interesting thing about chili is the chiles, Supermarket "chili powder" is just a mixture of cayenne with other flavorings like onion powder and cumin. You get much deeper flavor from mixing your own spice blend. Anchos are dried poblano peppers, and they have the most spicy, flavor. I balance anchos with pasillas, which taste earthier and less hot. Chipotles, smoked jalapeño peppers, are marinated in vinegar and lend a tangy, smoky note. Cumin is a signature spice in chili; grinding your own from whole seeds really makes the difference here.


    1. Make the chili: Heat the oil in a large oven-proof pot over high heat. Season the venison with salt and pepper and sauté in batches, until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate and remove all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pot.
    2. Add the onion to the pot and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ancho powder, pasilla powder, and cumin, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the beer and cook until completely reduced. Return the venison to the pot, add the tomatoes, chicken stock, chipotle puree, and honey, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice, and adjust seasonings.
    3. Meanwhile, make the crema: Place the poblano, oil, crème fraîche, and lime juice in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    4. To serve, ladle the chili into bowls and spoon the crema on top. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with White Cornbread.

    White Cornbread
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 cups coarsely ground white cornmeal
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 2/3 cups buttermilk
    1 tablespoon honey

    1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Butter a 12-inch-square baking pan.
    2. In a food processor or mixer, combine the butter, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, eggs, and salt. Process 20-30 seconds, until just mixed. Pour in the buttermilk and honey and process for 20 seconds more. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden. Cut into squares, let cool slightly, and serve.

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