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Chili Stew Recipe

November 1, 2011

Chili Stew

Yield: 4.5 quarts

With vegetables, beans, whole grain corn (posole) and elk meat, this soup is a meal in itself. As most of my recipes do, this soup evolved from the ingredients that I had in my pantry (for example, choosing a thick stout to deglaze my pan and adding a couple of tablespoons of barley malt for a subtle hint of sweet). Elk meat is virtually fat-free and aside from the bacon, all I added were two tablespoons of olive oil. The final result is a hearty soup, reminiscent of a stew: rich in flavor, yet light on the palate.


4 strips of bacon, cook until crisp (reserve rendered fat)

1 pound ground elk (or other meat: beef, pork, venison)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon EVOO

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 bottle stout beer (I used Wolaver’s Organic Oatmeal Stout)

2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and torn into pieces

2 cans crushed tomatoes (I like fire roasted)

1 quart vegetable broth (low sodium)

1 15-ounce can black beans

1 15-ounce can pinto beans

12 ounces blue corn posole, soaked overnight and cooked

2 tablespoons barley malt

1 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped


In a (very) large pot or dutch oven, cook 4 strips of bacon until crispy, remove from pan and set aside. Using rendered bacon fat, cook ground meat until browned and crisp (add cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder and salt), remove from pan and set aside. Add olive oil to pan, right on top of the browned bits (fond) left over from the meat and add: carrots, celery, onion, garlic and salt. When the vegetables begin to soften, deglaze the pan with beer. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, over low heat for one hour. Stir in cilantro just before serving.

Suggested Toppings:

Toasted Pepitas, Grated or Cubed Raw Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Avocado, Chopped Scallions

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