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Photo of the Actual Award Winning Chili- 2023

Photo of the Actual Award Winning Chili- 2023

Jenni’s Red Chili with Yak

Jenni at the Soup Palette competed in the 2023 Durango Snowdown Chili Cook-Off. Her yak chili took 1st Place for Judge’s Choice and 2nd Place for People’s Choice.

Here’s the award-winning recipe. Let us know what you think, if you cook it. We appreciate everyone’s feedback. Just remember Jenni is a professional chef who cooks by instinct to create her recipes. As she told me, she hopes she didn't forget anything.

2 Tbs Olive or Avocado oil

1 cup diced Vidalia onion

1 red or orange pepper, diced

½ jalapeno pepper, minced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

2 lbs ground Chama Valley yak

1/4 cup carrots, minced

1 tsp salt

Heat large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. When hot, add all ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.

Add ½ can classic beer, such as a lager. (½ for the chili; ½ for you.)

Simmer the mixture for 15-20 minutes to deglaze the meat – the alcohol will allow the meat flavors to more fully transfer to the sauce.


In a large bowl thoroughly mix together:

½ Tbs New Mexican red chile powder

1 tsp cayenne powder

1 Tbs dark chili powder

½ cup diced green chili – canned is fine

½ Tbs cumin

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

Add to bowl:

2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes

2 15 oz cans tomato sauce

2 cup beef broth

1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Add spice mixture to the ground yak. Simmer for a minimum of 1 hour.

Taste the chili – At this point, Jen usually adds a pinch or two of each spice, and sometimes a dash of sugar or 1 Tbs black coffee.

The chili should have a thick meaty consistency.

When satisfied with flavor, emulsify in blender 1-2 turns. ENJOY!

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Shepherd's Pie with Ground Yak

Shepherd's Pie with Ground Yak

Our wonderful customer Laurie B. sent us this excellent recipe -- upon our request. We hope you enjoy!

Best Shepard's Pie with Ground Yak

2 pounds ground yak
1 yellow onion diced
2 cup frozen sweet potato fries
1 cup zucchini, thinly sliced 
2 cups mushrooms quartered
3-4 mushrooms thinly sliced and seared in butter, for the topper
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 stick salted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken bouillon powder 
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups mashed potatoes, homemade and seasoned with chicken bone broth, salt, pepper, and butter.

Preparing the ground yak and vegetables:

In a large cast iron skillet, brown yak meat with garlic, yellow onion, salt and pepper.
Take potato fries and bake until slightly crispy.
Remove cooked yak to a plate and set aside.
Use same skillet to cook carrots, zucchini and mushrooms. Add a little butter and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. I use a tablespoon chicken bouillon powder to help season the mushrooms and veggies, if needed.

Time to layer the shepherd's pie:
Use the same skillet, if big enough, or use a casserole pan. Add sweet potato fries and veggies. Then add the browned yak meat. Add celery.
Sprinkle in a couple of tablespoons butter, salt and pepper.
To finish, add mashed potatoes on the very top with a few tabs of butter.
Add the cheddar cheese and thinly sliced mushrooms that have been seared in ample amounts of butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


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