Capital Chefs: Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Venison, Bourbon Steak’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s 70 degrees out today. But it’s still February, and that tricky March will probably make its entrance with a roar that will force all of us to bundle up once again. And chances are when it gets cold again, you’ll want to snuggle up with a nice big bowl of hot chili.

Here’s a recipe for venison chili (read: you can substitute plenty of other proteins) from Chef Adam Sobel. When I tried the chili, I believe my exact words to Adam were: “I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Do yourself a favor–don’t put cheese or sour cream on it; just enjoy it the way it is. Or you can do as they do at Bourbon Steak, put it on a half-smoke or on a monster of a burgerPhoto courtesy of
‘Condiments and Venison chili (right) at Bourbon Steak’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Below is the recipe for Sobel’s Venison Chili. If you aren’t able to use venison, Sobel says you can substitute any ground protein for the chili. For example, he suggests using a combination of ground turkey or chicken, or even diced catfish. I’ve also heard of people substituting ground bison for venison. I’d recommend going somewhere like Whole Foods for these ingredients.

Ingredients (serves 12):
3 lbs. venison, diced/ground
1 lb. pork, diced/ground
1 lb. beef, diced/ground
1.5 lbs. onions, small diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz grape seed oil (substitute Extra Virgin Olive oil)
1.5 qt venison or beef stock
20 oz tomato paste
8 oz green chile (dried)**
2-3 jalapenos**
2 oz chili powder, pure mild
2 tablespoons Hot chili powder
4 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground cumin (*see recipe for instructions)
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt

** The original recipe I got didn’t exactly specify how to add those chiles. Exercising my own culinary judgement and logic, I would say to dice them (or maybe that just seemed obvious to me!).

1. Brown the meat in the oil and then remove. In the same pan/pot, sweat the onions and garlic till soft.
2. Then add the stock, beef and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
3. Add the remaining ingredients (*all except the last 2 tablespoons of cumin) and simmer for 40 minutes.
4. Then add the last 2 tablespoons of cumin and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Adjust seasoning and cool.

Marissa was born and bred in New Jersey, but moved to DC for undergrad at GWU (Go Colonials, go!), fell in love with the District and learned that there was life and civilization beyond New York City. She loves eating at white-tablecloth-three-forks-at-your-place-setting restaurants, but she’ll also be the first to suggest we scarf down some chili dogs at 2 am. Simply put, she loves all things food. You can also read about why she loves DC. Follow her on Twitter and email her at mbialecki (at)

2 thoughts on “Capital Chefs: Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak (Part 2)

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  2. This chili is amazing. I had it as a topper to the Bourbon Brat special in the Lounge this past weekend. The venison gave it a robust flavor and it had a great heat. Paired with the truffle fries it was an indulgent treat.