Handsome Hubby likes to go hunting. Deer hunting in particular. That means I need to learn how to cook
Venison is definitely not something that is super common on America's dinner tables, but it has a lot of health benefits. It is super high in protein and iron and is pretty low in fat, saturated fats in particular. It is also an awesome source of B vitamins, including B12, B6 and riboflavin (all good stuff that we tend to not get enough of in our diets.) So Yay! for the health benefits but Boo! for trying to coax a lot of flavor out of it (in my opinion.)
Fat imparts flavor to most meat, but in venison, fat imparts that game-y flavor that most of us don't care for. So when HH gets a deer, I am always happy when he has the butcher make up a lot of ground venison.
I make spaghetti sauces and Venison Chili.
(You can also substitute ground turkey in this recipe, which I think is equally bland as far as flavor goes.)
This recipe really is pretty easy to throw together. It's also very forgiving. Alter the amounts, add or take away ingredients... whatever floats your boat.
1 large yellow onion
2 lbs ground venison
2 cloves minced garlic
2 handfuls dried oregano
1 chili brick
1 bottle of beer
6 cans of beans (your choice)
2 cups of salsa
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Dice a large yellow onion and saute in a large stock pot with a little olive oil. While the onion is sauteing, add in the ground venison and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Mix it all together and brown the meat. This helps to really impart some flavor to the venison.
While the venison is browning, take a big handful of dried oregano and rub it between your palms so that it breaks down and crumbles into a powder. Heck, add two big handfuls if you feel like it.
Next, grab yourself a chili brick. You can get these in the deli/refrigerated section at the grocery store. At our store they are near the hot dogs and the cream cheese. (But my store is kind of odd.) If you don't see it, ask. I swear by this brand, but I am sure there are others out there.
Plop it right into the meat and onion mixture. Next, pour most of a bottle of beer into the chili. (I get the last sip in the bottle. It's tradition.) You can also pour the whole bottle in if you don't have a similar tradition. (The alcohol cooks off, but you can also use non-alcoholic beer if you'd prefer.)
Yes, yes, I know that true chili doesn't have beans in it. However, we like it that way, so I add in several cans of drained pinto beans. (I also added in 2 cans of canary beans this time.) You can add whatever kind of beans you would like. I add in a whole, undrained can of diced tomatoes too.
Once I get it simmering, I dump in a whole jar of my favorite salsa. I do make my own, but I happen to love the chipotle flavor of this one.
Then I add in a big chunk of chopped cilantro. In this case I used one of my pre-chopped frozen portions of cilantro.
At this point I add salt to taste, put a diffuser under the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and walk away for several hours. (OK, stir every once in a while.)
Serve up and add whatever toppings you like.
I love cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, onions and avocados on mine. Oh! And crushed tortilla chips. It's a good thing that the venison and the beans are so low in fat, because I make up for it with the dairy and the chips I pile on top! Yum!
What do you put on your chili?