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Cold Spring Tavern

Wild Game Black Bean Chili

The Cold Spring Tavern was originally a stagecoach stop on San Marcos Pass between the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara, California. While the stagecoaches are long gone, the tavern is still here serving great and hearty meals in the same rustic building that has stood for over 100 years.

The Armchair folks have tried this chili at the Tavern and really like it. It is reminiscent of the black bean soups served in Haiti and the Dominican Republic -- however with a twist -- it's chili.

The Cold Spring Tavern has reduced the recipe to a manageable size for home use. While wild game is recommended, you can substitute a variety of meats (chicken, turkey, beef) and cuts to your taste.

As with all chili recipes, experiment and modify the recipe to your liking.


Yield: 1.1 gallons

24 oz dry black beans
40 oz meat (venison, buffalo, rabbit are recommended) chopped or ground as desired
24 oz fresh pasilla chiles
24 oz onions
12 oz diced tomatoes
3 oz chili powder
2 oz cumin seed
salt, pepper to taste

Cook the beans in water according to package directions. This will dictate the basic amount of water to use. Feel free to add water to yield your preferred chili consistency (AW).

In a frying pan, saute the meat until browned; reserve; saute the onions and chilies until the onions are transparent (use a little canola oil if fat from meat is insufficient).

Combine the beans, meat, onions and chili; add tomatoes.

Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer for one hour.

Suggested Serving

Laddle into a large bowl and top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped jalepeños. It's great with a crusty french or sour dough bread. Enjoy!

When you are in Santa Barbara County, check out the Cold Springs Tavern. It's a gateway to wine country in the Santa Ynez Valley where you can tour some notable California vineyards.

Cold Spring Tavern
5995 Stagecoach Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

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