Game Day Chili with Jalapeño & Cheddar Cornbread

Super Bowl 56 is almost here and we have a wine and food pairing that will make you the MVP, regardless of what happens in the game. Chef Christina Machamer’s Game Day Chili recipe made with wild game, no pun intended, is the ultimate football party staple, especially when served alongside homemade jalapeño cornbread to mop up every delicious drop. The best part is you can make this chili a day or two in advance, and then reheat it just before kickoff. 

“I love using wild game for my chili because it has a heartier, beefier flavor,” said Machamer. Wild game chili meat, which is a coarser grind than your typical ground beef, can be purchased online at Broken Arrow Ranch. If you prefer, ground beef can be substituted for the elk in this recipe.

With the spicy, gamey, and long-simmered flavors of this chili, any of Frank Family’s Cabernet Sauvignons are a natural companion, such as the 2018 RHF. The wine’s bold black and red fruit tones balance the weight of the meat, and its secondary flavors and savory undertones further highlight the spice of the chili. 

Ingredients – Seasoning Mix

2 teaspoonsGround cumin
2 teaspoonsSmoked paprika
4 tablespoonsChili powder
½ teaspoonCayenne pepper
1 each12oz can tomato paste
4 teaspoonsMinced fresh garlic

Ingredients – Chili

4 tablespoonsOlive oil
2 eachOnion, chopped
4 eachCelery stalks, chopped
1 eachRed bell pepper, chopped
1 eachGreen bell pepper, chopped
1 eachPoblano pepper, chopped
1 eachJalapeño pepper, chopped
2 each15oz can beans – black, kidney, or pinto
2 lbElk or other game
3 teaspoonsKosher salt
2 cupsChicken stock
1 each28oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added, undrained
2 eachBay leaf
1 sprigThyme
½ teaspoonFresh ground black pepper

Method – Chili

  1. In a small bowl, with a fork, mix together the seasoning ingredients to create a thick paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skilled over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, beef, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring to break up the meat, about 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the meat is browned.
  3. Add the seasoning mix (use a spatula to scrape it off the bowl) and cook, stirring to mix it into the beef and vegetables, 1 more minute.
  4. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, the remaining salt, and the black pepper. Lightly mash the diced tomatoes while stirring them into the mixture. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with your favorite chili toppings such as sour cream, cheese, cilantro, etc.

Ingredients – Cornbread

1 cupAll-purpose flour
1 cupYellow cornmeal
½ cupSugar
1 teaspoonKosher salt
3½ teaspoonsBaking powder
5 TablespoonsMelted butter
2 eacheggs, whisked
1 cupMilk
1 eachJalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 cupShredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Method – Cornbread

  1. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or cast iron skilled well and set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine well.
  3. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add your butter, jalapeño, shredded cheese, milk, and egg. Stir just until the mixture comes together and there are only a few lumps remaining.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Slice into triangles and serve hot.