A solid bowl of chili made with smoked venison neck, dried chilis and beans.
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Smoked Venison Neck, Venison
1.5cupsdried beans8 oz (I used black Tepary beans from Ramonas)
2.5lbsvenison neckin one piece
2teaspoonssaltplus more to taste
Fresh ground black pepperto taste
1 15ozcan tomato sauceunseasoned, or use ¼ cup tomato paste thinned with 1.5 cups water
3tablespoonsvenison fat or other lard
2dried bay leaves
4-6large cloves garlic gratedminced or pressed m
1large oniondiced ¼ inch or roughly chopped
15dried chilissuch as ancho, guajillo, pasilla, etc or ½ cup chili powder
4cupsvenison stock or waterwarmed
Garnishes (pick and choose your favorites)
Grated quality cheddar
Chopped green or red onion
Sour cream or Mexican crema
Soak the beans
Soak the beans overnight in the water, or soak for at least a couple hours by pouring boiling water over them.
Season and Smoke the Venison Neck
Season the neck with the salt and pepper and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight (optional). The next day, smoke the venison neck for 1 hour at 225. Remove the neck from the smoker and cut into large pieces, roughly 8 ounces each, or whatever can fit into the bottom of the pan you’ll cook the chili in.
Meanwhile, toast the dried chilis in an oven or in a cast iron pan until aromatic, about 5-6 minutes in a 350 F oven. Don’t burn them, just toast them a bit. When then chilis cool, they’ll be brittle, break them in half and empty out the seeds. Discard the seeds. Take the toasted chilis and crumble them into a blender with the stock, then puree until smooth. Reserve the chili-stock mixture.
Browning the meat and building the chili
Put your game face on, because you’re going to brown the venison like it owes you money. Heat the lard in a heavy pan until smoking. Brown the large chunks of neck very well. Crack a beer, heat the pan until it’s hot as hell, open a window, use a hood vent or a fan if needed, and take your time.
Once the chunks of meat are well-browned, remove them to cool, then dice into soup chunks.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes more. Add the chili powder, cocoa, cumin and paprika and cook for a minute more. Add the tomato, beans and chili-stock mix, along with the bay leaves. Bring the pot to a simmer, then turn the heat to as low as possible, cover ½ way with a lid, and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the beans are just tender.
Finishing and serving
From here, double check the seasoning for salt, adjust as needed, and serve with all your favorite fixings. The chili will taste better the day after it’s made. Thin it with a splash of water to adjust the consistency if it gets thick on you.