Chris “Whip” Layton’s Two-Tone Chili

2 bottles dark beer (Dos Equis) or 2 cans (15 ounces each) chicken stock
Juice of 4 limes
6 tablespoons Pickapeppa steak sauce
3 pounds venison stew meat
5 slices bacon
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
2 dried ancho chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 can (6 ounces) chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (available at Mexican groceries), chopped (reserve sauce)
1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine 1 bottle beer or 1 can stock, lime juice, and 4 tablespoons Pickapeppa sauce, and pour over venison. Marinate 2 to 4 hours.

In very large skillet, fry bacon until fat is rendered. Remove bacon, and reserve. Sauté onion and garlic in bacon fat until tender. Drain marinade completely from venison, and discard. Add venison to onion and bacon fat. Brown lightly. Add chili powder and basil. Cook a few minutes longer.

In another skillet, brown sausage lightly. Add fennel, ancho and chipotle chiles, and 1 tablespoon reserved adobo sauce. Cook until sausage is done. Add pork mixture to venison. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Chop bacon coarsely. Add to meat. Simmer until venison is fully cooked, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons Pickapeppa and remaining beer or stock for desired consistency.

Note: This is a spicy chili; chipotles may be reduced by half. For extra-hot chili, add ground or freshly chopped cayenne or Thai pepper, to taste.

Serves 12 – 15

From “Specialty of the House,” originally featured in Domain, Fall 1988.