Before I met my husband James, my diet was a very Mediterranean style of eating – he introduced me to the best Chili recipe ever – made using deer meat!
James and I are from very different worlds.
He grew up hunting, fishing and cooking (which was a big surprise – a nice one – men didn’t do too much cooking in my experience)!
A big bonus of us living this life now is that I have a freezer stocked with the most wonderful, healthy venison you can imagine – (oh, and fish, frogs and ducks if you want to count that too, lol).
This deer chili recipe comes from James really, I have played a little with it, but he showed me the basics. I always like to use my cast iron pot as much as possible, it gives so much more depth and flavor to a dish after a while of being used – I can’t imagine life without it now! I always recommend people give it a try – you really don’t know what you’re missing until you use one.
In this chili recipe I don’t specify how much kidney beans to add, as I think this is everyone’s personal preference. I usually add about 3 or 4 cups of soaked beans but you can use more or none. Up to you.
Canned beans can be used if you are short on time, but I always try to limit the sodium as much as possible.
So, instead of sugar to coax the natural sweetness out of the tomatoes, I like to use carrots. My son and husband HATE vegetables so this is my way of getting a little extra into their diet – plus I think it compliments the dish well. Just make sure to chop them up really fine so that they just melt into the dish.
I try not to make the chili recipe too hot, as we have kiddos eating too – this gives it just enough of a bite so that you know you’re eating chili, but it’s not uncomfortable. Those who like it hotter can always add a little hot sauce!
If you don’t have have to worry about the heat and prefer it hotter – add Cayenne Pepper to taste.
I married a guy from the South, so it is very typical we have an abundance of wildlife in our freezer. This is one of my favorite meals to make with deer, especially when the weather is getting colder and you crave that homemade, good ol Southern Style of cooking - and it is much healthier.
Serve on top of Fritos, with cornbread and top with sour cream and Mexican cheese.... mmm mmmm mmmmm, now you speaking my language!
- Red Kidney Beans, 1lb Bag Dried
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning
- Cooking Oil, 5 tsp
- Ground Venison, 3lb
- Sweet Onions, 2 x Large
- Green Bell Pepper, 1 x Large
- Celery, 2 x Sticks Large
- Chopped Carrots, 1/2 Cup
- Chopped Garlic, 2 tbsp
- Rotel, Original 1 x Can 10oz
- Tomato Puree, 2 1/2 tbsp
- Diced Tomatoes, 1 x Can 14.5oz
- Tomato Sauce, 5 x Cups
- Bay Leaves, 3 x Large
- Cumin, dried 2 tsp
- Chili Powder, 2 x tbsp
- Soak beans overnight in water with 1 tsp Garlic Powder, 1tsp Onion Powder and 1tsp Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning
- In 2 tsp cooking oil Brown the ground meat with 2 tbsp Creole Seasoning, until almost cooked through still slightly pink). Drain the fluid and set aside.
- Chop Onion, Celery and Bell Pepper in Food Processor.
- Take this and add to Cast Iron Pot with 1 tbsp of cooking oil, cook on medium heat.
- Add carrots to food processor and chop on high speed to get them as fine as possible. Add to pot.
- Cook until onions are sweating and translucent.
- Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes.
- Add Tomato Paste and mix together cooking for a further 2 mins.
- Add Rotel, Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce. Keep cooking on medium.
- Once bubbling add ground venison back to the pot and mix together.
- Add beans according to your preference.
- Add bay leaves, cumin and chili powder, mix together well and turn heat down to idle on low.
Cooking time can vary depending on heat applied. It can be ready quicky, you would have to watch the pot closely though.
This recipe is also PERFECT for the crockpot!
The cast iron pot is not a deal breaker. I just find it adds to the flavor! My pot has been seasoning for a long time!
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Serving Size1 Cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 207Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 67mgSodium 620mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 4gSugar 5gProtein 22g
If you have any comments about this chili recipe, or suggestions, I would love to hear them below!