Championship Elk Chili Recipe on Food52

Make Ahead

Championship Elk Chili

January 17, 2021
3 Ratings
Author Notes

OK, so my Longhorns did NOT win the BCS championship. At least we had good chili to cry over. If you do not happen to have a nephew whose girlfriend's mom recently shot an elk and shared, then lean beef, bison, or venison will work. This is proof that chili does not have to be heavy and greasy!!! —aargersi

  • Serves 6-8
  • thick slices of onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground elk
  • 1/2 yellow onion - chopped
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 ancho chili
  • 1 dark beer (I used Abita Oktoberfest)
  • 8 ounces unsalted tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1 can red kidney beans - rinsed
  • 1/2 cup beef or veal stock
  • additional beer
  • pickled jalapenos
  • shredded sharp cheddar
  • chili cheese Fritos (don't laugh - they're awesome!)
In This Recipe
  1. Put your slices of onion in a container and cover them with water - stick them in the fridge for later
  2. Soak the ancho chili in the beer. When it is soft (I nuke mine for a couple of minutes to speed things up) remove the stem and seeds and chop it up. SAVE THE BEER!
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot to med-high. Add the elk, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and brown it for 7-8 minutes until the pink is gone.
  4. Add the chopped onions (not the ones in water in the fridge!) and cook for several more minutes, then the garlic and 2-3 more minutes.
  5. Add the cumin, chili powder, paprika, tomato sauce ancho chili and beer. Then add the rinsed beans.
  6. Dissolve the masa harina in the stock and add that to the pot too. If it's looking really thick (it should be a little soupy at this point) add some more beer. Drink what doesn't go into the chili.
  7. let the chili simmer until you are ready to eat (half time!). When it's time, pull the onions out of the fridge, drain the water and pat them dry. Chop em up. Makes for a sweeter crunchier topping!
  8. Serve up a bowl, top with cheese, onions, jalapenos, and chili cheese Fritos. Get a cold beer (or a Texas Tea if you don't drink!) and have at it!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sean Michael Sullivan
    Sean Michael Sullivan
  • Shawn Stratford
    Shawn Stratford
  • Brian Thur
    Brian Thur
  • wssmom
  • aargersi
I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage

    10 Reviews

    Sean M. January 17, 2021
    This recipe elevated my chili! Thank you so much, i really loved the spice combo and use of masa harina!
    Shrinkrap February 7, 2016
    Made it.....with a few adjustments, of course. In addition to the pound of ground elk, I added four elk sausages I'd made with the same ground elk, some pork fat, and some spices. Son defrosted both, said he was makin chili, then dissappeared. I also used crushed tomatoes and some "trinity" from jambalaya I made a few days ago, rather than tomato sauce, and guajillo rather than ancho chilis. A work in progress, but I wanted to keep the thread alive.
    Shawn S. February 6, 2016
    Apparently resurrecting a long dead thread here, but I am trying this recipe for the first time and need to know the time frame for preparation.
    Author Comment
    aargersi February 6, 2016
    Give it at least a couple of hours, or if you can make it a day ahead, better still. The flavors meld with additional time. Good luck!
    Brian T. February 23, 2014
    I used Guinness and a Mexican style chili powder. It is delicious.
    Author Comment
    aargersi February 24, 2014
    That's great! Thanks for trying it! Did you serve with Fritos?
    wssmom January 25, 2012
    So glad to see this in the contest!
    deeprootsfarm January 12, 2012
    We made this chili tonight and it was fantastic. We made it with elk steak, thinly sliced, and it was perfectly chunky and delicious. Next time I'll soak the dried chili for much longer, but the porter we used was so flavorful.
    wssmom March 24, 2011
    Beans in chili??!!?? Perish the thought!! (j/k sounds delish!!!)
    Author Comment
    aargersi July 22, 2011
    I just saw this! You're funny :-) Seriously - beans in chili can get you beat up in some corners of Texas, but I am willing to take that risk - I love beans!