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Run, Run Rudolph

It’s venison season

The deer hunt is on, for firearms at least, until December 8. Bow season follows from the 10th to the 14th. Hope the hunters steer clear of Santa’s sleigh.
    With its dark, earthy flavor, venison can be used as steak, stew meat, sausage or as a replacement in any protein recipe. It is a lean meat and certainly sustainable. Novices, prepare for a gamey taste.
    Chad Wells, newly appointed executive chef at The Rockfish in Eastport, is well known for his use of invasive species, such as snakehead. As a hunter and friend to many hunters who share, Chef Wells created the following recipe for a chili cook-off.

Venison Chili with Sweet Potato

    2 tbsp. oil
    3 onions, small dice
    4 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
    2 jalapenos seeded and minced
    5 lbs. venison stew meat
    1/2 cup dark chili powder
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    1 tbsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. cayenne powder
    1 tsp. coriander
    1 tsp. cumin
    1 tsp. granulated garlic
    1 tsp. smoked paprika
    3 quarts chicken stock
    1 cup tomato paste
    1/3 cup chipotle puree (blended canned chipotle in adobo)
    1-1/2 tbsp. beef base
    1 lb. sweet potato, peeled and diced ½ inch
    4 16-oz cans of black beans, drained
    3 tsp. kosher salt (plus more to taste)
    10 plum tomatoes seeded and diced

    In a large stock pot, heat oil on high. When hot, add red peppers, onions and jalapenos. As onions and peppers become tender, add venison and sear until edges become slightly crisp and dark. Reduce heat to medium. Add sugar, cinnamon, coriander, garlic, cayenne, paprika, cumin, salt and chili powder. Stir lightly until sugar is dissolved. Add chicken stock, sweet potatoes, chipotle puree, black beans, beef base, and bring to a simmer. Once a simmer is reached, add tomato paste and stir in until dissolved.
    Lower heat and cook uncovered until venison is tender and liquid has thickened to desired consistency. Add diced tomato and cook until tender. Salt to taste. If too spicy, add brown sugar to balance.
    Freezes well.

Dine with Santa at Double T

    Looking for a kid-friendly restaurant to kick-start the Christmas festivities? Head to the Double T Diner in Annapolis for the annual Santa and Mrs. Claus dinner this Sunday, December 2, from 5 to 7pm. Enjoy tableside chats with the jolly couple and free eats for kids 12 and under with each adult meal. It’s fun for the whole family, and the enormous menu aims to please every palate.
    Can’t make it this week? A second visit is planned for December 18.

Got a tasty tip for next week’s Dish? Email Lisa Knoll at [email protected]