The day before Thanksgiving and my recipe post has absolutely nothing to do with turduckens, or herbed-up gravy atop oyster cornbread stuffing, or whipped sweet potatoes smothered in bourbon, brown sugar and bacon, or even pumpkin ____________ [fill in the blank].
I figured at this point your threshold for Thanksgiving hoopla has been far surpassed.
This recipe is for the weekend after Thanksgiving, when you'll be hard pressed to find a television in the house that isn't tuned into one of the big college football rivalry games - at least that's how we do it down south.
It's the perfect hearty-yet-low-maintenance meal for a "chili" November day, and it's even made with "game" for game day. See what I did there?? I'm such a cheese ball.
Even better, assuming the old wives' tale holds true, the black eyed peas may bring your favorite team good luck and the collard greens just might give you the upper hand on your bets!
And if a day of sitting on the couch watching football sounds about as enticing to you as venturing out into the Black Friday mob madness does me, prep the ingredients and throw them in the crock pot before you go to bed on Friday night, set the crock pot to low Saturday morning, and let the football fanatics fend for themselves while you enjoy some Small Business Saturday shopping.
The menfolk will be so appreciative of your sweet gesture they'll have to think twice about making a comment on the car full of shopping bags you make them carry into the house for you.
Bribery at its finest.
I hope your Thanksgiving brings you an overly stuffed belly and a day full of quality time with your family and friends (or at least as much as you can stand).
Lucky "Game" Day Chili
Serves: Enough for an army
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: All dang day (but worth it)
1 lb venison roast, cut into 1 inch pieces*
1 lb venison cube steak, cut into 1 inch pieces*
1 lb ground elk*
4 slices of bacon, chopped
2 yellow onions, diced
2 jalapenos, diced finely
3 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely diced
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
2 red peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and chopped
4 cups frozen black eyed peas, thawed
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
1.5 ounces dark chocolate, crushed
1 bottle brown ale
1 cup coffee
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In the largest pot you can find (mine was 8 quarts) fry chopped bacon until crispy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside. Leaving the bacon grease in the pot, brown the venison in batches over high heat, careful not to crowd the pan. It took me about three rounds and six minutes per round. Set aside venison aside with the bacon once browned. Add the onion to the pot and saute for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the jalapenos, serranos, red pepper, chipotles and adobo sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, ancho chili powder, salt, oregano, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon and cook for an addition 2 minutes. Add ground elk and cook til browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add bacon and venison back to the pot. At this point I transferred the meat and veggie mixture to a crock pot because I wanted it to cook all day while I was away from the house. If you are going to be at the house to keep an eye on it, you can leave it in the pot you browned the meat in. Add in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, brown ale, coffee, black eyed peas and collards and stir well. Cover and allow to cook on medium low heat if you are finishing yours on the stove or high heat if you are finishing yours in the crock pot. After about an hour, stir in dark chocolate. Simmer for 12 hours. Serve with cheese, sour cream, tortillas, saltines, or whatever else you have stashed in the pantry. And ice cold beer... it's pretty darn spicy.
*If game meat is not your thing, or you just don't have access to it, you can substitute the venison cube steak with beef cube steak, the venison roast with bottom round, and the ground elk with ground sirloin or round.