This is a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers and fellow Austinite: Ren of Edible Aria. He pulls together perfectly savory and mouthwatering dishes, takes stunning photos, and focuses on cooking with whole, sustainably grown, and real foods. Thanks, Ren!
Those of you who know me know that I stopped eating “conventionally grown/raised” and processed food a few years ago in favor of a traditional diet including grass fed, pastured meats, dairy and eggs, local fresh fruits and vegetables in season and fresh seafood when available.
I particularly eschew the animal products that come from CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), with all the attendant problems of E. coli and Salmonella. Rather, I choose to consume only sustainably and ethically raised products from local farms and ranches.
If there is one thing better than locally produced animal products, however, it is wild game. Ranging freely across millions of acres of Texas land, deer, antelope and boar (and many other species) feed on native grasses, nuts and berries. Completely free of hormones and antibiotics, the complex, natural flavors of game animals offer some of the highest quality, most nutrient dense foods on Earth.
Wild Boar and Venison Chili with Black Beans and Goat Cheese Crema
- 1/2 pound coarsely ground wild boar
- 1/2 pound coarsely ground wild venison
- 2 oz double smoked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon clean white leaf lard or tallow
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground canella (not cassia)
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 1/2 pints rich, homemade chicken stock (or, where to buy chicken broth)
- Enough dried Poblano peppers to yield 1/4 cup chile ancho powder
- Enough dried New Mexico (red Anaheim) peppers to yield 1/4 cup chile molido powder
Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies, split open and lay flat on a hot comal until very lightly toasted (just a few seconds on each side; do not let the chilies burn or they will be bitter). Set aside to cool, then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or food processor.
Toast the coriander and cumin until fragrant. Allow to cool, then grind into a coarse powder along with the cinnamon, cloves.
Mash the salt into the garlic to form a paste. A molcajete is perfect for this task.
Melt the lard in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the bacon and cook until it is crisp and most of the fat has been rendered. Add the boar and venison and cook without stirring until well browned on the bottom.
Add the onions, stir and cook until soft and browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock, chili powders and spice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until thickened, about 2 hours. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with long simmered black beans, and a crema of fresh, whole milk whisked with goat cheese.
Grow a pot of herbs, keep a chicken or two, catch a fish, frequent the farmers’ market and food co-op. Change your health and change the world!