“It gets really cold here in Maine, and nothing’s better than coming home from work to a hot meal,” says Chad Lothian, of Old Town, Maine.
What can be more satisfying on a down right brisk day than eating a heaping bowl of chili? Moose chili in fact. It is estimated that over 5,000 of these animals roam northern Vermont and Maine and Mainers have been enjoying moose meat for years. For good reason too; moose meat is a leaner meat, yielding about 1 gram of fat per 100-gram serving, and even less saturated fat. It also has 22 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, roughly the same as standard cattle meat.
Lothian begins making his moose chili by pan frying the moose meat with ground chicken. The ground chicken adds heartiness and substance to the dish without diminishing the moose meat flavor. Once the fat in both meats has had a chance to render, Lothian transfers the meats and their juices to a slow cooker and adds onions, peppers, jalapeños, tomato, and garlic.
Of course this dish wouldn’t be truly complete, if there wasn’t a cup or two of beer on the ingredient list. Lothian, a beer aficionado, suggests using Voodoo Porter from Black Bear Brewing Company in Orono, Maine. And beer doesn’t have to stop at the ingredient list; pair your steaming bowl of chili with the very beer you prepared it with.
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of ground moose meat
1 pound of ground chicken meat
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
1 12-ounce can of kidney beans
1 12-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons chili seasoning
1 1/2 to 2 cups of beer
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté, or pan fry your meats, either together or separately, until cooked. When complete, put meat and juices in the slow cooker.
2. Prepare your vegetables. Dice your peppers, onions and jalapeño to bite-sized pieces before tossing them in the slow cooker.
3. Add the kidney beans and crushed tomatoes.
4. Add your chili spices. This can either be store-bought like Chad’s, or you can use your secret family chili recipe.
5. Pour in about 2 cups of your favorite beer. We recommend a beer with some body; stouts work well in chili, however it’s not uncommon to see a can of Heineken in some recipes. Our rule of thumb, use a beer you’d drink.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste, and allow the mix to sit and simmer on a low heat for 8 hours, overnight, or however long you want. But remember, the longer the flavors meld together, the richer your chili will be.
Recipe courtesy of Chad Lothian, 2013.