By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley
This is a more simplified version of a chili recipe that my colleague Marie Luther and her son, Ian, created; I met Marie through her work with Primitive Archer Magazine. Their original recipe was amazing and won first place for “best hot chili” at a local chili cook-off, but it required some harder-to-find ingredients such as nopales (cactus) and fresh habanero peppers. This is a more shopper-friendly and more toned-down version of their spicy chili. If you have a hard time finding the dried chilies listed above, try your local Mexican grocery store. This chili recipe does require a bit more work than most, but it'll be unlike like any chili you've ever had.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: About 3 hours
- 8 cups water
- 3 chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
- 1 dried puya pepper
- 6 dried ancho peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 ½ pounds ground venison
- 2 fresh Anaheim chili peppers, seeded and diced
- 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 (20-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (20-ounce) can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup carrot juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Over medium heat, simmer dried puya and ancho peppers in 5 cups of water for 30 minutes. Then remove hydrated peppers from the water, reserving water. Discard the stems and scrap out the seeds. Place the cleaned peppers in a blender along with 4 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and 3 chipotle peppers. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Sauté chopped onion until soft and translucent. Then add crushed garlic into the pot. Sauté for another 30 seconds. Transfer onion and garlic to a bowl and set aside.
- Next, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and brown the ground venison over medium high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add diced Anaheim and jalapeño chilies. Pour in the blended chili mixture you made earlier, plus the cans of tomatoes and drained beans.
- Next, pour in 2 cups of red wine, 1 cup of carrot juice and 1 cup of molasses. Finally, season with ½ teaspoon of black pepper, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of dried mustard. Simmer on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Leave the lid on or off depending on how thick you like your chili. Season to taste before serving. If you find the chili too spicy, add a bit of brown sugar to even out the flavors.