Venison Chili

Servings: 6

Ingredients: 4 TBS.. unsalted butter
                  1 red onion, diced
                  4 cloves garlic, minced
                  4 TBS.. dark brown sugar
                  3 cups red wine
                  4 TBS.. red wine vinegar
                  4 TBS. tomato paste
                  4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
                  1 tsp. cumin
                  1/2 tsp. cayenne peper
                  1/2 tsp. chili powder
                  2 TBS. finely chopped fresh cilantro
                  Salt, to taste
                  4 TBS. canola oil
                  1 cup diced bacon
                  2 lb. venison stew meat, trimmed and finely diced
                  2 cups cooked black beans

          In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3-4 min. Stir in the brown sugar and cook until onions and garlic brown slightly, 2-3 min. Stir in the red wine, vinegar, tomato paste and chicken stock along with the cumin, cayenne, chili powder, cilantro and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, 30-35 min.
          Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over high heat, warm the oil and fry the bacon until it browns, 2-3 mins. Push bacon to the side of the pan, add the venison and season with salt. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid has evaporated, about 20 min. Add black beans and toss mixture together. Transfer the meat and bean mixture to sauce and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chili has thickened, about 20 mins. Check seasoning and adjust as needed.

adapted from Cooking with David Burke of the Park Avenue Cafe, by David Burke (Knopf, 1996)