It's pretty difficult to go wrong with a chili recipe, though I have found the trickiest part is the level of heat you incorporate. You can make chili as mild or spicy as you like, just make sure you're considering all the relevant parties when setting up your ingredients. If your in-laws are visiting and can't handle spicy food without getting wretched heartburn that is going to keep them up all night, perhaps you should skip the minced Habaneros.
I personally like my chili somewhere in the middle, whereas Trent is a little more on the extreme side. I once made a chili that was so spicy, Trent's nose and eyes started leaking like a burst pipe. I asked him if it was spicy and he said, "Not really," which gave me the courage to try it. Come to find out it was nearly inedible because it made you want to gag while eating it. Oops. Live and learn right?
This particular recipe is one I recently concocted that I thought was a nice in-between; mild, flavorful and hearty. If you don't have ground venison, you can certainly switch it out for any type of ground protein, keeping in mind it may alter the flavor/texture somewhat. It is normal that the texture of this particular chili, when finished, will seem a little soft or more blended than the defined chunks of beef you would get in a standard chili. Also, I should mention that you can certainly add whatever else into this mix you would like, including chunky tomato instead of a puree (Trent and I both don't eat onions or tomatoes so I omitted those). I only used canned beans because I had them in the cupboard and wanted to use them up. I encourage you to use fresh beans and properly soak them overnight for maximum nutritional benefit.
Note: I know it can be expensive, but try your best, while remaining within your food budget, to use as many fresh, local and sustainable ingredients as possible. What you eat affects your health dramatically, and can have a huge impact on the quality of your life long-term. Organic vegetables and grass fed meat are always preferred.
What You Will Need:
- 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 lbs of ground venison
- 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 c. barbecue sauce
- 8 oz chili beans
- 8 oz white beans
- 4-8 oz kidney beans
- 1/4 tsp sage
- ½-1 tsp crushed red pepper
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 3-6 cloves of minced garlic (depending on preference)
- 2 tsp onion powder or ¼ - ½ diced onion (depending on preference)
- 2 minced ancho chili peppers
- 1 ½-3 tsp chipotle chili powder (depending on preference)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tell me what you thought of this recipe! Questions on ingredient substitutions or sourcing? Feel free to ask. I'd love to hear how you tweaked this to fit your own taste buds.
Kaylyn Hansen has worked in the alternative medicine field for over four years as a patient liaison, educator, and physician's assistant.