I have been making this recipe for years and it's spectacular. Typically I make it with buffalo or extra lean ground beef. If serving to the kids, I swap out some of the chipotle chili powder for regular to take the heat down a notch. Adding macaroni noodles to the kids bowls for chili mac really makes them happy and extends the already ample servings even more! We serve with tortilla chips as well. Yum!
We used ground venison sausage in place of the elk - delicious. I probably would have given this a 4 the night we ate it, but leftovers the next day were a 5+. Perfect for chilly winter days! I omitted the 1.5 cups of water and then added maybe a half cup or so about an hour into the simmer time, and that turned out to be the ideal consistency for us. I thought I had all the chili recipes I needed, but this one is definitely going into permanent rotation. The red wine and chipotle chile powder really set this apart (at least from my other chili recipes!).
I used grass fed beef rather than elk.Even after simmering just shy of 3 hours it was still more soupy than chili. I recommend leaving out the 1.5 cups of water. See my full review at http://www.dishoverdinner.com/2012/11/easy-elk-chili.html
I thought this was a really good solid chilli recipe. I used buffalo instead of elk since I couldn't find any elk here Jersey. It turned out really good. I served it with cornbread. The recipe makes a lot and the left overs reheated very well.