I love chili. Seriously, it’s one of my all time favorite meals; so much so, we eat it at least once a month. When I was a child, my mom would cook it for me for every birthday I had… because I love it that much. I love attending chili cook-offs, yet have never attended one with this recipe, and I am uber picky when it comes to judging chilis.
I could seriously eat chili everyday of the week. So, with all of that said, you know that I’ve spent quite sometime perfecting this chili recipe. I’ve adjusted and changed the recipe by small amounts and have found – what I feel – is the perfect chili recipe.
Of course, this recipe has wild game in it, and I’d recommend elk or venison as the meats used in this recipe, but perhaps other meats would be good too – duck? rabbit? squirrel? This recipe is a great way to get rid of tougher elk and venison meats, like stew meat and such.
My 3 biggest takeaways to a great chili are:
- Add green chilis. We are big fans of green chili in general – likely because of my love for red chili in general, but also because green chili is a big thing around these parts.
- Mexican chili powder. I don’t know, maybe I’m just fooling myself, but I strongly believe that there’s a heck of a difference from regular ole’ chili powder and authentic Mexican chili powder. Order it offline, order it from a reputable chili spice vendor, or get it in the Mexican aisle at your grocery store – this stuff rocks and is usually cheaper than regular ole’ chili powder.
- Chili beans with the juice. I’m from Texas, where traditional chili recipes have NO BEANS. I could be kicked out of the family for adding beans to my chili, but I’ve officially lived in Colorado longer than I’ve lived in Texas now, so I’m letting the cat out of the bag… I add beans to my chili. I also add all of the juice from the beans – don’t drain those bad boys.
Watch the amount of salt you add, because depending on the chili beans and other ingredients you add, the salt level can creep up fast. Taste the chili after you add everything to the pot, throw in a dash of salt, let it cook an hour, taste it again, and then adjust as needed. At the end of the cooking period, the eater can always add more salt to taste.
This is the one recipe that I thought I’d never post online. This recipe is my baby.
Without further ado, here’s my chili recipe.
Elk & Venison Chili
- 1-2 cups Water The water depends on how much juice you want. If you don’t want any juice, don’t add any water.
- 1 lb Ground Elk Venison, Moose, and Beef Work Well Too
- 1 lb Elk Steaks Cut Small
- 1 Yellow Onion Chopped
- 1 Jalapeno Chopped
- 3 Garlic Chopped
- 4 Green Chilis Or, 2 4oz cans of green chilis. I like to substitute for chipotles and adobo sauce sometimes – it adds a good smokey flavor.
- 1 tsp Chicken Base
- 4 cans Chili Beans Keep the juice, so you can pour it into the pot as well.
- 1 big can Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 tbls Chili Powder I prefer the chili powder from the Mexican aisle in the grocery store.
- 1 tbls Cocoa Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 tbls Oregano
- 1 tbls Cumin
- 1 tbls Crushed Red Pepper
- dash Salt + Pepper
- Crockpot Instructions I’m only going to tell you this once… throw everything into the pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. I know, this is hard work!
- Stovetop Instructions Cook the meat with the onions and garlic. As the meat cooks, I usually open up all of the cans and add the spices to the top of them, so I can easily dump everything in to the pot.
- If you’re using fresh green chilis remove the skin, tops, and seeds. Chop small.
- Throw everything into the pot after the meat is done cooking and cook a minimum of 1 hour. It’s much better to cook it at least 2 hours.
- Frito Chips
- Onions, Diced Small
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce