Friday, January 25, 2008

Greg's Fiery Venison Chili

Greg never writes down his chili recipe, and just "goes with the flow" each time he makes a crockpot-full of this belly-warming chili. I paid attention when he made it last week, and this is as close to real measurements as I can get. Of course, you can make this recipe with regular ground beef, but since we have a freezer full of venison that's what he uses. Start this recipe in the morning, or even brown the meat the night before and store in the fridge overnight and then toss everything in the crockpot the next morning. Let it cook all day, and enjoy for dinner - just make sure you have some shredded cheese and/or sour cream to help with the heat!

1 to 1 1/2 lb ground venison (you can use lean ground beef instead)
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 mini sweet peppers, or 1 regular sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cans (14 to 16 oz) chopped tomatoes with chiles, undrained
1 can (15-16 oz) red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (15-16 oz) great white northern beans, drained
1 bottle of beer (we use dark beer, which imparts a mellower, nuttier flavor)
1/2 cup to 1 cup pickled sliced jalapenos, drained (amount will determine heat level of chili)
1 to 2 tsp ground habanero powder (ditto - feel free to add even more!)
1 to 2 tsp red pepper flakes (ditto)
1/4 cup chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

In a large saucepan, heat about 1 to 2 Tbs olive oil (enough to cover the bottom) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, then add garlic & peppers and continue to saute until onions are translucent and the peppers are softened. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Place everything in a crockpot, stir in the remaining ingredients, and cook all day (we set our crockpot on auto-shift, which alternates between low and high heat automatically). Taste periodically to check the spice level and adjust accordingly if needed. Serve topped with shredded cheese, chunks of ripe avocado, a dollop of sour cream, and a side of cornbread or chips.

Zestfully yours,

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