Is game meat better than conventional meat? Conventional meaning: beef chicken, turkey, pork and the like. Well, animals raised in healthy environments can supply nutrient-rich meat, which contains all amino acids and various micronutrients. In nature, animals exist for their own reasons, not just for our use. Game and wild-type meats have a much healthier fatty acid profile, because wild animals consume vegetation and small animals (e.g. insects, worms) that are high in anti-infalmmatory omega-3s. Pasture-raised animals (e.g. grass-fed cows) are healthier, and healthier to eat. And Yak meat has been found to also contain conjuged linoleic acid which helps to keep cholesterol in check.
Conventional meat is from animals brought into the world solely to be used for food and virtually all meat found at conventional supermarkets are from Animal Feeding Operations or AFOs. AFOs are factory farms, with “factory” not farms being the operative word, and were made possible by the cheap surplus of corn and soy back in the 1940’s. This grain-based diet means that domesticated animals’ meat is high in omega-6s, which are pro-inflammatory.
Since this post is about Yak meat being used in a chili, you may want to know what the heck is a yak. Well, it’s a herd animal found in the mountainous regions of central Asia, mostly Tibet and Mongolia, and although there is a large domestic population of yak, there are only a few wild yak remaining. The yak is a shaggy looking creature that belongs to the same cow family as the Asian water buffalo, the African buffalo and the American bison. And an interesting note, yaks are adapted to survive brutally cold, harsh winter at high elevations with no one around to feed them. They prefer grass hay or an alfalfa-grass mix, and don’t care for grain. If you are interested in more information about Yaks In America, watch this video.
The yak meat used in this chili was from a pasture raised herd in South Central Colorado. There are several Yak Ranches in Colorado and Montana. You can make this recipe using any lean meat, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can order some yak meat from YakMeat.US.
- 1 pound red meat, cubed (I used Yak, yet beef or venison can be used)
- 1 each large red and yellow onions, chopped
- 6 med garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 Tbl oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 qt veal or beef stock
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 1 each, red, yellow and green bell peppers, diced
- 1 jalapeno chile, minced and without stems/seeds, adjust the heat as needed (I used ½)
- ½ poblano chile, diced and without stem/seeds, as above
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 Tbl ancho chili powder (I used ½ Tbl ea ancho & red chili powder)
- 3 Tbl red chili powder, adjust the heat per your taste
- 3 cups cooked black beans, drained & rinsed
- ¾ cup black beans, drain, rinsed and pureed
- salt to taste
- In a pot, brown meat and onions in oil until onions tender, add garlic, cook another 1 - 2 minutes
- Add stock, tomato juice and cook covered over low heat until meat is almost tender (3/4 - 1 hour).
- Add bell peppers, chilis, cumin, chili powder and cook covered for 20 minutes. You may need to add more stock, per your preference.
- Add black beans and puree. Stir well and cook another 5 - 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- This chili recipe is a medium on the heat scale.