Venison, Woods-to-Table Taste Sensation
pork in the Southwest, but venison also does it justice. Several containers of New Mexican chopped green chiles were in my freezer from a recent trip, so I pulled out a couple to try in this recipe. After the first taste, I congratulated myself for having had the foresight to bring them home with me. Yum!
Pick a Pepper
You may use any kind of fresh or frozen pepper for the minced peppers. I have friends who grow a large variety of heirloom peppers every summer on their farm in Shannon County. They preserve plenty for winter by chopping them finely in a food processor and freezing the pulp flat in large freezer bags. Being a beneficiary of many of their fresh peppers, I’ve started doing the same. It works great for recipes such as green-chile stew. I pulled out a freezer bag and pinched off 2 or 3 tablespoons of puréed mixed hot and sweet peppers and threw them into the pan with the chiles.
Make it Hotter or Milder
Only your taste buds can decide how much hot pepper you want to add. If you use mostly mild green chiles, then you’ll want to add fresh hot peppers for extra kick. I like a ratio of about two-thirds mild and one-third hot New Mexican green chiles to begin with. Then, upon tasting, if I decide it needs more punch, I throw in the fresh hot peppers. If you find the stew too spicy, add extra broth and a little water to dilute the heat.
- 2 pounds venison, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups chopped fire-roasted mild or hot green chiles, preferably New Mexican
- 2 sweet or hot fresh peppers, minced (See Pick a Pepper above.)
- Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Whole wheat- or white-flour tortillas
In a large, heavy saucepan, cook the venison in oil over medium heat until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in onions and garlic and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add potatoes, salt and broth. Bring contents to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for an hour.
Add the chiles, fresh peppers and black pepper, and cook 1 hour or more until the venison is tender and the stew is of desired consistency.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with cilantro. Accompany with warm tortillas for dipping into or stuffing with the stew.
Makes about 10 cups of stew
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