Credit where it is due, this Triple Meat Game Chilli was inspired by legendary strength coach Charles Poliquin.
He advocated Wapiti (Elk), harvested wild, and added to Ostrich and Bison in his Chilli.
The use of different game meats creates a unique texture combination, alongside a fantastic amino acid profile and a healthy quotient of fats.
You can add chilli peppers to taste, but the real kicker is this recipe is the woodsmoke undertones added by slow cooking in a Dutch Oven, over real embers.
Of course, you can cook and devour this Chilli indoors. But the until you have had that real fire, outdoor flavour, your Chilli experience is only half baked.
The beauty of this concept is that you can use whatever local game you have to hand. I hunt deer whenever possible, and often have access to rough shooting, so pigeon and rabbit are easily sourced.
If hunting game is not your thing, simply get chatting to your local butcher. All good butchers worth their salt will be able to source quality game for you. Anything is plausible in this recipe, but I prefer Venison and Wood pigeon for their different textures and the addition of pastured pork to add some fat for flavour. We purchase half a pig a time from our local farm. Not only is it cheaper, but these animals lead a great life, eat mainly left over fruit, veg and bread that supermarkets would otherwise throw away, and they taste sensational too.
I'll use the mincer to coarsely grind up some trimmed pork belly, as well as any off cuts from the latest deer carcass and some pigeon breasts. If sourcing these from your butcher, he will be happy to mince for you upon request.
Why use game? Well, I know what I cook is sourced in the utmost ethical and sporting manner. It has lived as an animal should. In its chosen environment, eating a wild diet concordant with its genetics. This gives you more flavour, more nutrients and less toxins.
Open fire cooking forces one to slow down. Tending to the needy flames is an absorbing task in itself. This is not a '30 minute, wolf it down and carry on with my stressed out day' kind of recipe.
Free up the afternoon and evening, invite some great company, and select some quality alcohol.
The use of a Dutch Oven is just perfect for this reason. Once the heavy cast iron gets warm, it will bubble away your Chilli, mingling the flavours with woodsmoke. Dutch Ovens are reasonably priced, will last a lifetime if cared for, and contrary to what you may be thinking, are just as at home in your kitchen or back garden as in some wilderness photo shoot!
Ingredients (Serves 6)
1kg Chosen Game, coarsely ground
2 Onions (chopped)
2 peppers (chopped)
1 tin Kidney Beans (omit if full Paleo)
2 Tines chopped tomatoes
2 cups fresh tomatoes (diced)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 table spoons chilli powder
2 hot Habanero Peppers (more or less to taste)
2 Tea spoons smoked Paprika
2 Tea spoons Dried Oregano
4 Garlic cloves minced
1 tea spoon ground Cumin
4 Table Spoons BBQ sauce
4 cubes 85% dark chocolate
Splash red wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Simple! Prepare your fire, sear the game in the Dutch oven (the Pork Mince will liberate its fat as a lubricant, but if you are using all Game meat, add some olive oil)
Add Onions, Peppers and Seasoning and stir until softened.
Add the rest of the ingredients, and simmer for a couple of hours. Taste and season more if necessary.
Serve with Sweet Potatoes roasted in the embers of the fire, and a hearty red wine.
Let me know how this tastes for you, and as always, please leave a comment.