There are certain recipes that just feel like they were made for wild game. Chili is one of those recipes. It is a warm, hearty meal that can warm you up on a cold day and almost seems to be designed for hunting season. This venison chili recipe is the way I like my chili, but it’s easily modified to whatever tastes you like. You don’t even have to use venison; If you want to, you can use any wild game. I prefer ground burger because it gives me the texture I like for chili, although you could use cubed stew meat. I have made this chili with all types of wild game and domestic meats. This particular chili was made with Aoudad sheep meat that was gifted to me from some friends.
1/4 cup olive oil 2 pounds ground venison (any kind of wild game will do, or chunked stew meat) 1 large yellow onion, diced 1 cup diced peppers (you can use a mixture of peppers, or all the same kind) 5-6 cloves garlic 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder 2 teaspoons chipotle powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 bottle your favorite beer (avoid very hoppy beers) 4 cups chicken stock 1 can chopped tomatoes 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo, pureed 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 1/2 cups canned black beans
You don’t even have to use venison; If you want to, you can use any wild game. I prefer ground burger because it gives me the texture I like for chili, although you could use cubed stew meat. I have made this chili with all types of wild game and domestic meats. This particular chili was made with Aoudad sheep meat that was gifted to me from some friends.
I like to measure everything out ahead of time and get all my ingredients in order. Although this recipe isn’t a fast-paced recipe and you can take your time cooking it, I still like to have everything ready and lay out to make it go smoothly.
In a pot large enough to cook several quarts of chili, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and then add the ground meat seasoning, salt, and pepper and cook until completely browned. When the meat is fully cooked, remove all the meat from the pan and set aside for later use.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and then stir in the peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook the veggies for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and soft. Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir the chili powders and the cumin into the vegetables and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. You want the chili powders to release their flavors.
Pour in one bottle of beer. One note about your beer choice: if you really like hoppy, powerful beers, that’s great—but those bright flavors will overpower your chili. I like to use a dark porter most of the time. After you add the beer, cook it down until almost all the beer is reduced out of the chili.
When the beer is almost all evaporated, add the meat back into the chili and all the remaining ingredients. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the temperature down to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours.
If you like your chili thick, you can cook it for longer than 2 hours, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes until the chili reaches your desired consistency. At this point, taste your chili and adjust you flavors as necessary. If you like your chili spicy, you can add more heat now. I like to leave my chili a little mild and then serve it with hot sauce so people can adjust the heat to their own tastes.
In my opinion, chili is always better the day after it is made, so I will refrigerate it overnight and serve it the next day. When I serve up my chili, I like to pair it with a piece of cornbread and some sour cream. What I like most about chili is how everybody likes it a different way. If you like yours over noodles, you can serve it over noodles. If you don’t like beans in your chili, you can leave them out. Sprinkle it with cheese or pour it on a hotdog. Whatever you like, have at it—and enjoy.