Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Venison Version: Venison Chili

3 cups dried pinto beans
apple cider vinegar (I like bragg's organic because it has "the mother" and anything involving "the mother" is always better in my book ;))
2 or 3 15 ounce cans of tomatoes
1 large onion
1 bundle celery
fresh peppers (bell for mild, banana or chili or other peppers for hotter chili)
1 lb venison
2 or 3 pkgs chili seasoning (I use mild since I have small children who don't like it spicy and I add tobasco sauce to the finished chili to give mine some kick)

1. Sort beans and put in large bowl with 12 cups water and 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar and soak overnight.
2. Rinse beans and place in crock pot. Fill with fresh water up to 2" from the top of the crock pot (I think I'm using a 5 quart), add salt and chopped onion, cook on high for an hour then cook on low for 3-5 hours more, testing beans periodically for doneness.

** At this point, its usually dinner time, so we eat bean burritos for dinner this night and then make chili the next night, but you could go ahead and make chili now if you want. . . **

3. Brown venison, sometimes I brown it with a package of chili seasoning. Sometimes I don't. Dip some of the bean juice out of the crock pot and pour browned venison into crock pot.
4. (optional) put chopped celery, more chopped onion and chopped peppers into skillet used to brown venison and grill for a couple minutes. I usually only do this if I cooked the venison with the spices so that the veggies can soak up some of the spices as well. If you don't want to grill your veggies first, then just dump them into the crock pot. Dump tomatoes (including tomato juice) in as well.
5. Cook on high for 1 hour then switch to low and cook another couple of hours, testing veggies periodically to see if they are done enough for you (some people like their veggies slightly crunchy, but we like ours soft).
6. Enjoy in a bowl. Enjoy on a baked potato. Enjoy on crackers. However you eat it, enjoy it.

We sometimes also add frozen organic corn and sliced black olives to chili, just to give it more color and sometimes I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. It just depends on what I have on hand.

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