Venison Chili

I don't know a whole lot about chili, I looked up some facts and the origin of chili but I have never had a go to chili recipe until now.  A lot of people take their chili very seriously, from what I can tell most of them are from Texas or wish they were from Texas.  Chili is really nothing more than a stew made with meat, salt, chili peppers, onions and depending on where you're from and what you believe in, beans, tomatoes and an assortment of other spices and ingredients.  

No matter where you're from chances are you have an opinion about chili.  Growing up my grandmothers made chili and my favorite part was being able to put cheese and saltines on top of it.  If I remember correctly they were mostly meat chili's with tomatoes and chili powder and were very filling and kept you warm on winter days when all I wanted to do was go sledding and play out in the snow.  Over the course of my life I have had a lot of different chili's and being from Minnesota, the home of Hormel, I have eaten my fair share of Hormel chili.  I have also had all varieties of white chili, chicken chili, chili verde, vegetarian chili, chili with beans and without and an endless list of different meats, sausages and strange tofu things that really shouldn't even be used.  

I prefer and only make one type of chili, venison chili.  I have made other types and used many of the ingredients listed above but venison , in my opinion, makes the best chili.  I also like beans in my chili, but not a lot of beans just enough to add that wonderful texture that only beans can add.  I like a little heat in my chili but not so much that I can't enjoy it.  Just enough heat to make the back of your mouth tingle and then fade away.  A good chili is always better the next day so when I make chili I like to make it a day in advance then let it sit over night in the fridge.  I still like cheese on my chili but have added sour cream as a favorite topping and I love corn bread with my chili.  A quick simple skillet corn bread just can't be beat along side a bowl of beautiful venison chili.

this is what it looks like after adding the beer, reduce until thick and pasty

I found this recipe for chili by Bobby Flay and have made it several times.  I have changed it some but for the most part it is the same as his venison chili.  I prefer ground venison instead of cubes and have not been able to find pasilla chili powder so have to use pasilla negro peppers that have been seeded and chopped finely.  I also like to used buckwheat honey because I feel it compliments the earthy flavors the venison and the chili peppers have.

Venison Chili

1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds ground venison
1 large red onion diced 
5-6 clove of garlic
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped pasilla peppers
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bottle of really good dark beer
5 cups chicken stock
1 can chopped tomatoes 
2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo, pureed
2 tablespoons buckwheat honey
1 1/2 cups canned black beans 

In a heavy pot of dutch oven brown the venison in the oil, season with salt and pepper, remove the meat and set aside.  with the remaining oil in the pan add the onions and garlic and cook until tender.  add the chili powder and the cumin and cook for a couple of minutes.  add the beer and completely reduce.  add all the remaining ingredient and simmer for 2 hours or until the chili reaches your desired consistency.  I like to refrigerate mine overnight and serve it the next day.  Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.