Best Chili Recipe

the leaves are finally falling.  it's still warm, but they are falling.  last week i made chili, even though i was wearing shorts and flip flops.

do you have something that you prefer your own to than any other version?

i do. well, really there are two things: iced tea and chili.  {but iced tea isn't really cooked...}

i won't bore you with how make iced tea, but i will share my perfect chili recipe with you. it isn't an exact science, just so you know before you get started. i now understand what my grandmother means by not following a recipe and doing it on how it feels {she makes really wonderful chicken and dumplings this way}

this is a venison chili recipe with beans. and ground meat. you could definitely use beef if you didn't have venison, and use your grinder to grind up a leaner cut so that you don't have lots of fat from the ground beef you buy at the store... or you could cook your beef separately and then drain the fat... i don't have to really worry about the fat with venison, because there really isn't any. {also, when my husband kills a deer, he processes the meat (and my MIL and I wash/wrap it) so that we know that we are getting our meat (not some other deer) and that we know how it was processed. i used to think this was CRAZY because of the addition of work involved (everyone else seems to just take it to a processor) but then my husband explained why, and then i watched food, inc. so now i am super proud of our self processed venison} the only bummer is that yours truly has to grind it EVERY TIME i am ready to use it.

i love my kitchen aid and the grinder attachment.  LOVE it.  i use it all the stinkin' time.  we eat a lot of venison...

but back to the recipe:  {this is the DOUBLED recipe.  it makes a ton! which i love because i can feed a crowd or i can feed my family with leftovers and freeze half of it!  and having food ready to heat in the freezer is half the battle to avoiding take out/calories/extra money/high processed foods.}

Best Venison Chili

start with your big stock pot.  mine is a bit too big, but beggars can't be choosers.  heat up some olive oil while you get these.

then chop your onions.  i use sweet yellow onions, and for this extra large recipe i used 2 large and 1 medium onion.

then add them to your your hot oil in the stockpot and saute over medium for a while.  add your chopped garlic.  use a couple spoonfuls from a handy jar like this.  or be an over achiever and chop or press or whatever you like.

while the onions and garlic are cooking, chop your peppers.  these are green and purple peppers from my garden and are slightly dwarf sized because of the MASSIVE heat this summer {and truthfully, this fall as well} so if you were not picking from your north texas garden, but from your grocer's produce instead, use 3 large green bell peppers. 

and chop a poblano pepper.  again, these are tiny poblano's from my garden {and they are way hotter than most you would find at the store! yikes!!} so i used more of them.

and add these to the pot.  and then {if you like heat, and i do} add a chopped jalepeno with the ribs and seeds removed.

while all of this cooks, lets move on to the meat.

see above for my blurb about the venison.  but basically, i think this is about 3 pounds of meat.  maybe 2 and a half... but i think closer to 3.

the meat {make sure you rinse it}

and the grinder

equals ground venison!

so brown your meat while you gather the rest of your ingredients {i know that martha would cringe because i am failing with mise en place} 

once your meat is browned, add whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. {the big cans} or if you are like me, and our fresh out of crushed tomatoes, use a can of diced with a small can of sauce.  break up the whole tomatoes {either in the can with kitchen shears} or in the pot with the wooden spoon.

it should look like this:

then add your beans.  drain and rinse first...  i added three kinds:  black, kidney and pinto.  add your favorite...

it is really pretty, now, isn't it??

then i added the spices {and this is so easy that it is CHEATING} two boxes of "2 Alarm Chili Kit"  but don't add the masa until the very end.  and let it sit for awhile.  go do something else.  watch a tivo'd soap opera.  or dust.  or both.  let it sit AT LEAST half an hour.  or more.  on medium low.  and then taste it.  my husband tasted it and added more salt.  and then he added half a bottle of beer

-- at this point i mixed up a box of jiffy cornbread {replace the 1/3 c. milk with 1/3 c. of sour cream!!} right into the pan {less dishes!} to cook while the chili finished --

and then mash it up with your masher... because it gives it a nice uniform texture.  {as faustino put it -- no one likes a big tomato in their chili... i beg to differ...}

last, add your masa packets from the chili kits.  then i simmer it until the cornbread is done.

serve with grated cheddar, sour cream, avocado, chips/crackers/cornbread, or just by itself.

am i being terribly un-humble if i tell you that it was excellent??!!  go make some chili this weekend!


  1. Mmmmm, sounds great. Chili is one of my specialties. But, I always catch Alyn adding something to the pot, so who knows if my recipe is really good or if he adds just the right amount of surprise seasonings. :) BUT, all that said, I will definitely have to give your recipe a go. And bravo for the venison and processing it yourself. Everytime I touch raw meat I want to puke...literally. If it (cooked meat in general) didn't taste so dadgum good I would be a vegeterian. :)

  2. okay...will try your recipe soon! but, it won't be venison, and I don't grind :) thanks for sharing!

  3. Joley - faustino is a spice adder too... drives me nuts because he will always say "a little of this, a little of that" whenever i question him!! and raw meat is sick, but somehow i have gotten over the venison. somehow, knowing its origin makes it less nasty...who knows!

    Jenn - definitely try it... tell me what you think! will you use turkey or beef?


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