There’s something special about a warm bowl of chili. Even when the weather is warm, I enjoy the comfort of coming home and filling my house with the smell of chili simmering on the stove. This is a good recipe to make during the warmer months, when you have to make room in the freezer for the fall hunting season. Thanks to chili’s versatility, you can use whatever meat you have on hand. With a recipe like this, you can substitute any wild game meat—like squirrel, elk or wild turkey. It is also a great way to use scraps of meat that you have in your freezer—just pass them through a meat grinder. If you don’t have a grinder, you can also dice your meat finely and brown it in the pot. If you want to add a fun kick to your chili, add in a hot pepper of your choosing for a pop of flavor and some heat.
If you find that you don’t have enough wild game, try this dish with beef or domestic turkey. Chili involves a lot of different spices and ingredients, so you can experiment. You’ll find it tastes even better the next day when all of the flavors have blended together.
Venison Chili • 1 pound of ground venison • 2 strips of bacon • 1 16 oz can of kidney beans • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes • 3 cups of beef or chicken stock • 1 whole red onion • 3 cloves garlic • 1 tsp dried oregano • ½ tsp cinnamon • 1 tsp paprika • 1 tsp ground cumin • ¼ tsp cayenne • 1 tsp ground chili pepper • ½ tsp salt to taste • 1 sprig rosemary • 3 bay leaves
1. Start by rendering bacon in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Render bacon until crispy and golden brown.
2. Finely dice a red onion and add to the pot with the rendered bacon. Add diced garlic and cook until onion is soft and translucent and garlic is slightly golden.
3. Add beef and brown for about five minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks.
4. When the meat is browned, add the spices, rosemary, and bay leaves to the pot.
5. Add the kidney beans and diced tomatoes, followed by your stock of choice.
6. Partly cover the pot and let simmer for about an hour and a half until the liquid is full flavored and reduced. Season with salt to taste.