I think I start to perk up, not because I don't care for summer, but rather I love the hominess that fall brings. Gatherings outside, baking, and sharing in the harvest of all of the hard work through the spring and summer. One meal that I love is chili. It is usually easy to pull together, and the best part- really hard to mess up! It allows some creativity, spontaneity (I think I'll try these beans this time, and control (mild to hot).
My preference is to use fire roasted tomatoes and chilis. It brings out a nice rustic flavor. Plus if you are in the West, you can usually find some fire roasted hatch chilis which are delish! For this recipe, I used ground Elk. I found it at our Natural Grocers, and I was inspired by one of my favorite brew pubs in town. (I have no aspirations to come close to theirs, but thought I would still try to put something out there).
- 1 lb. ground elk
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 C red wine
- 1 1/2 C beef broth
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
- 2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 14.5 oz can chili beans (do not drain)
- 1 14.5 oz can red kidney beans (drain)
- 4 oz fire roasted diced green chilis
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
In a dutch over, saute ground elk and onion in 1-2 tsp olive oil. Season with 1 tsp kosher salt, and cook for roughly 10 minutes. Add red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes, then add all ingredients except for the tomato paste. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, uncovered. Stir occasionally for an hour an a half. (Chili will start to thicken even more after tomato paste is added). Then add the tomato paste and incorporate by stirring. Continue to cook for an additional 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls- garnish with sliced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar, sour cream, green onion, tortilla, etc.
Also- you could add 1 tsp chili powder, I have a 4 year old who would then refuse to eat it, so I omitted it from the plan.
So enjoy- make a pot- share with some friends on the porch or the campsite- share your favorite summer memories- and usher in the next season!