This Chunky Venison Chili is so very tender and it was made with one of the tougher cuts of the deer, from the rear leg! The trick is to brown the venison chunks over very high heat, quickly.
The slow cooker makes this cut, normally just ground for burger, into a chili that you would never realize is even venison.
Eric has tricked friends and told them it was filet of beef! 🙂 (and they believed him!)
I know you probably won’t believe me, but if you try this chili, you will not believe it is not filet!
The Origins of Chili con Carne
As with a lot of dishes that we eat here in America, Chili con Carne is not a native dish from Mexico. Even though it is attributed to Mexico, like many dishes, immigrants probably modified an existing recipe to take advantage of locally sourced ingredients.
One account, attributes the dish to Sister Mary of Agreda of Spain. She was known as the Lady in Blue, and is said to have never left Spain. After a trance, she supposedly wrote down the recipe for stew, containing venison or antelope meat, according to What’s Cooking America.
Venison Chili vs. Beef Chili
If you were to compare the 2 chilies with the exact same ingredients, and quantities, one made with venison and the other with beef, according to Outdoor Life, the venison chili would have less than half of the calories and 1/6th of the saturated fat! Thus, venison chili is the healthier choice!
Between Eric and both boys we usually end up with over 300 pounds of meat! It really helps with the grocery bills.
The only drawback, or not, depending on how you look at it, is I have to get creative with my recipes, or we would get very sick of eating venison.
Here are some of the great recipes I have come up with for making different venison recipes!
Toward the end of the winter, I usually try to clean out the tougher cuts of venison from the freezer. Those cuts that really benefit from cooking in the slow cooker, or slow braising. Slow Cooker Venison Carnitas is a perfect example.
In the summer we usually cook on the grill and these cuts don’t lend themselves well to quick cooking. So make my Venison Kebabs in the summer on the grill.
Another key to cooking these tougher cuts is to make sure that you remove all of the tendon that has multiple layers between the good meat. The tendon is hard to chew and your chili will not be as tender.
Venison Chili is a great place to hide extra veges
I always add lots of veges and beans to my chili. This batch I cleaned out the freezer of all the small bags of roasted sweet and hot peppers and garlic from my garden last summer.
When I have a plethora of peppers in the garden, I can some, like these pickled peppers, make relishes, and candy some. I always roast a big batch and freeze them, too. They are great in soups and stews!! I also load it up with onions, celery and chipotle peppers! This chili is not lacking of flavor.
Let your chili cook for a couple days. I usually start the slow cooker on high, until it boils, then turn it down to low and cook for about 5 hours. Refrigerate it over night.
The next day, scrape off any fat that accumulated on the top. Turn the slow cooker on high again, until it boils. Then reduce heat to low. Cook it again for about 5 hours.
The cooling off and reheating, not only improves the texture, it lets the flavors all mingle together.
Who hasn’t said that the soup or stew tasted better the second day? The same goes for chili! I never skip this step, I feel it’s that important!! Of course, it is certainly edible the first day it is cooked, just better day two!
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Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Tools I Use to Make Chunky Venison Chili
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Chunky venison chili only takes a few minutes to put together but it slow cooks for 2 days! So tender, you won't believe it's venison!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb beef we used sirloin steak, cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 lb venison remove all tendons and silver skin, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 pepper roasted or fresh, diced
- 2 Chipotle in adobo and tablespoons of juice, minced
- 3 28 oz diced tomatoes I used frozen
- 1 head roasted garlic or mince 3 large cloves fresh
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp cornmeal if the chili has a lot of liquid, I may add up to 1/4 cup
Add olive oil to cast pan, if you have one, over high heat. Brown beef first. (The reason I use a little beef is because it adds a bit of much need fat to the chili)
Once beef is browned remove it to slow cooker with slotted spoon. Add a bit more oil, if you need to between batches. Then brown venison, in batches. Add it to the slow cooker when browned.
Add a bit more oil and reduce heat on pan. Sauté onion, celery and peppers (if using fresh).
When they are soft, add garlic and soften that until it is fragrant.
Add some of the tomatoes to the same pan and scrape the fond (browned bits).
Add all of the rest ingredients to the slow cooker. Turn heat to high until it boils. Turn down and cook on low for about 5 hours.
Refrigerate overnight. The next day, scrape the accumulated fat off the top of the chili. Again, turn slow cooker to high until chili boils. Then reduce heat and cook for another 4 hours or so. Then add corn meal and stir in. Cook for another 30 minutes- 1 hour. Serve with cheese, green onions, jalapeño slices, sour cream or whatever other toppings you like.
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