I love elk. It’s delicious, lean, and you can’t get more organic than wild elk! No elk on hand? Deer, caribou, or just plain beef would work well too.
Any dutch oven or oven safe pot will do. Mine happens to be cast iron which I love and use a lot. I got it at DI (a local thrift store) for $15. I love being able to start out on the stove top and then move it to the oven to finish cooking. If you don’t have an oven safe pot, just prep in a skillet and transfer to a dish that can go in the oven.
Dutch Oven Wild Game Chili
3-4 pounds elk steak
8 T. olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 large carrots, washed and grated
1 quart whole canned tomatoes (or 4 cups store bought)
2 cups beans (I used small red)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
2 cups green enchilada sauce, homemade (here’s my recipe)
2 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. paprika
tortilla chips, diced tomato, sour cream, and hot sauce for serving
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut the elk into 1/2 inch cubes. Place the dutch oven over medium high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Heat until shimmering and add half of the elk to sear and brown. Remove elk from pot. Repeat with the other half of the oil and meat. Remove meat from pot.
Return the pot to the stove and heat to medium. Add the last tablespoon of oil, onions, and carrot and saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Dump in the tomatoes and juice, crushing the whole tomatoes in your hand before they fall into the pot. Add the beans, cilantro, green enchilada sauce, and spices. Return the cooked elk to the pan. Stir to combine. Put the lid on the dutch oven and put it in the preheated oven. Cook, covered for 1 to 2 hours – the longer the better. Stir occasionally. If it’s getting too thick, add a little chicken broth. If it’s where you like it but it’s not dinner time, just turn down the oven some and let it merry in the heat.
Serve with a healthy dollop of sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and tortilla chips.