By Joe Scrizzi
A little before Thanksgiving last year, I visited a friend in NJ for dinner. She asked that I pick her up at the soup kitchen that she volunteers at, so I swung by. When I arrived the team on site was unloading a truck of supplies, so I jumped in to assist, since she was cleaning up inside the building. As we were about to head out, I was handed a pack of ground venison for helping. A guy in the community donates ground venison to the local shelters in that area and whatever doesn’t get used, the staff takes a pack home. There was a lot left as most volunteers don’t know how to use it in recipes. I welcome Wild Game when there’s an opportunity! Venison tends to be on the dry side, so you would have to add a fattier meat or other to the recipe.
Last night I made 2 gallons of Venison Chili and it came out Fantastic and I wanted to share with readers. Here’s how I incorporated it into a tasty option.
4 T. Olive Oil
1 Med. Onion, chopped fine
1 Carrot, chopped fine
2 Celery Ribs, chopped fine
4 Tsp Fresh Garlic or 4 Fresh Cloves, minced
Sauté above until fragrant, 5 – 7 minutes on low/med heat. Veggies will be soft.
1# Ground Venison
1# Ground Sausage
2 Chili Seasoning Packets (or use your own blend)
1 Tsp. Smoked Chipotle Powder, (optional)
Add ground meats after veggies have cooked down, break up and incorporate all together. Sprinkle seasonings over mixture, stir to mix.
1 – 28oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes + 1 – 15oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, undrained
1 – 4oz can chopped chilies, (I used mild)
1 can Cannellini Beans, drained well
1 can Black Beans, drained well
For this chili I did not drain off any fat from the sausage, since it needed it. Add remaining ingredients and give a hearty stir to combine everything. Turn heat to low and stir every 15 minutes to insure nothing sticks to bottom of pot, cook for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Spoon in bowl, add any toppings and Enjoy! Once cooled down, place in containers in fridge. Next day, flavors will be more intense!
I had on hand homemade Smoked Chipotle Powder and added 1 tsp in, and it made a world of difference with flavors popping in taste & scent. It added a level of heat without overpowering the taste of the chili. I enjoy experimenting with different chili powders, so I can create my own seasoning blends. Always take the time to experiment with different beans, proteins and spices, you may create a New Favorite! Chili freezes well in pint containers for a meal options later.
Thank you for reading!