Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Venison, Bacon and Black Bean Mini-Chili Bowls

Venison is a lean and nutritious protein, and if prepared well, an amazing substitute for any red meat namely beef. I enjoy the time of year when I can acquire, through my hunting family members, a fresh batch of Venison to develop recipes for special occasions or a hearty week night or weekend   This recipe came to me while in the 'lab' and thinking of recipes that would cater to a game night themed menu. 
 I really enjoy Venison, as does some of my family, including my girls and nephew.  The kids ages run between 8 and 9 1/2.  I have received a good amount of positive feedback, excluding that of my mom, who has no desire to consume any type of wild game, something about her childhood and getting fed up at a young age when, literally! The base recipe actually sparked several other recipes, quite different in presentation, color and taste, all pleasing .  
The following recipe is essentially my spin
 on chili beans and corn bread, popular amongst the young and old.  The bowl for the chili is my take on Yorkshire Pudding, which I enhanced with Chinese Five Spice and onion powder to compliment the flavor profile of the Venison fillling.  These gems are bite sized, as I used a miniature muffin pan.   I was feeling especially elated about this recipe because I actually did my own grind with my Kitchen Aid with grinder attachment.  I added more moisture element with some chopped bacon.  I found that warm and earthy spices like allspice, cinnamon, clove and even star anise really mesh well with Venison as well as onion and garlic.  The end result of this chili is used as a filling, for a more spoon and bowl chili, simply add a can of tomato sauce, an additional can of beans with liquid, chili powder and a pinch of sugar, sugar optional.
1 lb. ground Venison
1/4 c. raw chopped bacon
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/4 c. tomato paste
3 tbsp. beef broth or water , plus more if needed
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
1 11.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
Sour cream, Sriracha and Parsley for garnish, optional
For Miniature Yorkshire Puddings:
1 c. ap flour
2 large eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 450*F.
Over medium high heat in a large saute pan, add bacon and cook for several minutes until golden and fat has been rendered.  
Remove all but 2 tbsp. of the rendered fat, (reserve additional bacon fat to lightly brush muffin cups)
Add the onions. Continue to cook for about 1 minute until fragrant, 
Add Venison. 
Cook until meat is browned and add garlic.
Cook through, about 4 minutes.
Add tomato paste, broth, fish sauce and spice. 
Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
Fold in black beans and turn off heat.
Meanwhile prepare the Yorkshire pudding cups.
Brush mini muffin pans with reserved bacon fat, cooking spray OR olive oil.
Place muffin pan in oven for 5 minutes.
 Combine ingredients until smooth in a vessel with a pouring spout for ease.
Fill muffin cups about half full with batter. 
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. 
Once cups have cooled just enough to remove, do so, to start the next batch. 
*Having 2 mini muffin pans comes in quite handy here. 
You may use the regular sized, 12 cup muffin pans to make dinner bowls, 2 per person.* 
Transfer to a baking sheet or large flat platter and press down or with a paring knife, cut half circle in  the center of each to create a crater to house the filling.
Wait until all have been baked to start the filling process.
Makes about 5 dozen mini chili bowls.