Chili Stuffed Chiles -- Spice Up Any Party, Whether Football, Holidays, Baby Showers...
Updated: Feb 26
Well, maybe not baby showers, but you know...
Having neighbors who garden big, as in growing a lot more stuff than they ever plan to personally use, is a blessing of country living. This is especially true when you have several pounds of ground venison in the freezer and the neighbors planted twice as many mild poblano pepper plants as they needed.
"Can you help us deal with this bumper crop of peppers?" they asked. "Sure, be right over!"
What could be cooler than taking poblano peppers and stuffing them with spicy venison chili? They are a party favorite and they can be spicy, so make sure you have a cold beer or other favorite beverage handy. They y also make fine fare for any “big game” get together, whether you’re talking a gathering of football fans or diehard hunter/gatherers.
When we make chili, it’s, “Go big or go home.” You may as well make a lot; it never goes to waste. This recipe is a variation of standard chile relleno and other stuffed chile recipes.
* 5 pounds coarse-ground venison (well-trimmed of any fat and silver skin)
* 1/2-cup cooking oil
* 25-30 poblano chiles (depending on size – 3 to 4-inch preferred)
-- halved lengthwise with all seeds/ribs removed
* 12 sweet banana peppers or similar (chopped)
* 8 ounces diced green chiles
* 2 large yellow onions, diced
* 3 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes with the liquid
* 3 ounces tomato paste
* ¼-cup of fresh minced garlic
*2 cups shredded cheese (Monterey jack is a good choice)
* 3 1.25-ounce packages of a favorite chili seasoning
* 2 tbsp fresh chili powder
* 2 tbsp garlic powder
* 3 tbsp ground cumin
* 2 tsp ground coriander seed
* 1 tbsp black pepper
* Salt (to taste – you can always add it but never take it out once added)
* ¼-cup corn starch
* ¼-cup lime juice (optional)
* 2 large cans pinto, kidney or black beans (optional)
* Favorite antacid tablets (hah – for emergency use only)
Brown meat in oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add the chopped onions, sweet banana peppers and diced green chiles. Cook until onions are translucent. Add diced tomatoes, chopped garlic and all seasonings. Ensure liquid just covers the top of the meat. If not, add more diced tomatoes, a can of beer or water. Bring it to a boil and then transfer pot to burner where heat can be reduced to simmer or very low. Simmer for 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once chili is cooked, taste and adjust seasonings and add lime juice to taste. Add beans if you desire.
Divide into thirds. Refrigerate or freeze two-thirds for later eating. Keep about 2 pounds to stuff the poblanos. To this, add corn starch, reheat and stir until thickened. You don’t want “soupy” chili for stuffing. Set chili aside.
Roast the halved poblano peppers by broiling about three minutes on each side. Or, simply brush them lightly with oil and roast in oven at 325F for about 15-20 minutes. You don’t want them mushy.
Remove poblanos from roasting and array in glass baking dishes or on a sheet pan. Spoon the warm chili into the poblano, filling it to a heaping level. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of the chili. Place in oven at 325F for about 20 minutes (until cheese is nicely melted). Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.
Makes 6-10 generous servings. Artisan tortilla chips, warm flour tortillas and sour cream are good accompaniments. And beer, yes, cold COLD beer...