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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Venison Fajita-Style Chili (Ole and Lena's Mexican Vacation)

I entered this in a chili cook-off sponsored by the Freshwater Theatre Company, and they wanted all the entrants to come up with a fun name to represent their dish. Since this is Minnesota, full of Norwegians who hunt, I figured Ole and Lena would substitute venison in a version of chili they sampled on vacation ! 

No, I didn't win. AGAIN! I did get second place, aced out by my chili nemesis, the White Chicken Chili. If you have followed my blog you may remember I won a chili cook-off at work by begrudgingly "getting in bed with the enemy" and entering the White Chicken Chili. It's mostly because my coworkers have a less adventurous palate than I do. Now, I see, it is common to most of the state of Minnesota ! This is not the first time, nor will it probably be the last, that I will lose to this soup masquerading as a chili ! 

Off the soap box, onto the food ! I really like this mixture of flavors, it is brighter and more flavorful than a traditional tomato, ground beef and bean based recipe. Or maybe that's just my imagination because I added tequila ? My husband does an amazing job butchering the deer, so our steaks are already nice cuts, but the mojo style marinade really makes it.

So the upside of the whole day, was there was also a Home Brewer Contest, and I won it ! This was the first time I dared to bring in one of our home brews, so I entered our Barrel Aged Black IPA. I was voted "Best Firkin Brewer", so here I am, with my winning mug and my apron for second place in the chili cookoff.  And now I get free beer every time I attend one of their shows....totally cool !

Photo: Here's my winning darling sporting the apron she won for second place in the chili cook off, and holding the mug for first prize in the beer contest!!

Venison Fajita-Style Chili 
For the meat: 
3 pounds venison steak 
1/2 cup lemon juice 
1/2 cup lime juice 
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons grill seasoning 
2 tablespoons cumin 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1 tablespoon dried oregano 
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a one gallon zip lock bag, and place meat into marinade. Let sit at least 12 hours. 

For the chili: 
3 pounds marinated venison steak 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, finely diced 
1 each red, yellow and green peppers, diced
4 jalapenos, minced 
1 large can spicy V-8 juice 
1 large can crushed tomatoes 
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
2 cans spicy chili beans 
1/4 cup cumin 
1/4 cup chili powder 
3 tablespoons oregano 
3 tablespoons grill seasoning 
1 tablespoon smoked salt 
2 cups tequila 

In a large stock pot, sear off steak to brown the outside, and set aside. Saute onions and pepper in the same pot. Dice steak into small pieces, and add back to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients, and let simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours, until thickened. Adjust spices to your taste. Just before serving, stir in the tequila. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese. 

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