Adapted from Big Ranch, Big City Cookbook: Recipes from Lambert’s Texas Kitchens by Louis Lambert and June Naylor, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
(makes 6 to 8 servings)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 lbs. coarsely ground venison or beef
2 large yellow onions, diced medium
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
2 14.5oz cans whole tomatoes in juices, cored and diced medium reserved juice
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 (12-ounce) can of Miller High Life
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp. cornmeal
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
Heat a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the 1/4 cup vegetable oil. First add the onions and cook until they become soft about 5 minutes. Add venison with another 1/4 cup vegetable oil and cook until it begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Make a well within the ingredients in the pot and saute the garlic for 1 minute and then stir into the meat and onions.
Stir in the chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar, and cook until all of the meat is coated with the spices, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, beer, and water, and bring the chili to a simmer. Cook the chili at a low simmer for at least 1 hour or longer until the flavors come together and the texture thickens. During the cooking, add water to keep the chili moist as the liquid evaporates if needed.
Toward the end of the cooking time, sprinkle the cornmeal into a 1/3 cup warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into the the chili and stir in. Cook until the cornmeal is cooked through and has slightly thickened the chili, 10 to 15 minutes. Ladle the hot chili into warm bowls and top with cheddar cheese and diced onion.
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