1 pound ground beef, elk, buffalo or venison (or a mixture)
1 pound mild bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (10 ounce to 14.5 ounce will work) chopped tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel brand works well), undrained
Sour cream and grated sharp Cheddar cheese for garnish
Place the green chiles and cilantro in the bowl of a small food processor and process until well blended. Set aside.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the meat, sausage, onion and fennel until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat; add the beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, stir in the chili-cilantro paste and cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt (doesn’t need much). Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cheddar cheese.
Make ahead: chili can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat over medium heat.