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Entreé

Elk Chili with Mexican Chocolate and Lime Crema

Elk Chili with Mexican Chocolate and Lime Crema with 2017 Vaca Red Wine Blend

Ingredients

1/2 lb. Christmas lima beans*
2 tsp. kosher salt

3 lbs. elk, stew meat*
salt and pepper
3 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
2 red peppers, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. tomato puree
2 T. chili powder
2 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tablet Mexican chocolate, chopped
sugar

1 c. crème fraiche or sour cream
2 t. lime, juice

1/2 red onion, minced
1/3 c. cilantro, chopped

Preparation

Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight. The next day place on the stove and cook at a low simmer until tender, about 1 ½ hours. Add the salt and allow to cool in the broth.

Cut the stew meat into one-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a wide bottom pan over high heat and add the vegetable oil to the pan and sear the meat in two batches. Remove to a side plate when done. Add the onion, peppers and garlic to the pan and sauté until soft. Stir in the tomato puree and chili powder and cook to reduce for a few minutes. Return the elk to the pan with the chicken broth Add the oregano, cumin and chopped chocolate. Bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and turn heat down to low. Cook for 2½ hours until the elk is tender. Add the cooked beans and cook on low heat for another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust with salt or a pinch of sugar if necessary.

Whisk together the crème fraiche and lime juice and set aside. Ladle the chili into warm bowls and top with a spoonful of the lime crema, chopped onion and cilantro.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Vaca Red Wine Blend.

Christmas lima beans can be ordered from Rancho Gordo in Napa at www.ranchogordo.com, or if unavailable, substitute a large meaty bean in its place. Elk meat can be purchased from Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram, TX, at www.brokenarrowranch.com, or substitute beef stew meat if unavailable.