Cole and I both love chili so much, and luckily, there’s so many different ways to make it! I don’t even feel guilty that this is my fifth different version of chili in my recipe box because each version tastes so different. When I first started cooking with venison last year, my good friend Dan told me to make sure I add some sugar to the meat while cooking it to cut out some of the gamey flavor. Knowing that many people like to make chili that varies between sweet and spicy, I decided to lean into the concept, and make a stew that has enough spices in it to give it heat, but I also add in some of my favorite baking spices to compliment the venison. I know that a swift glance at the ingredient list can leave one questioning my judgement, but I promise everything balances each other out in the end. If you had a successful hunting season last year and want to try something new, give this chili a try.
1 lb Ground Venison
½ cup Diced Bell Peppers (any color will work)
1 tbsp Diced Jalapeno Pepper
1 ½ tsp Minced Garlic
½ tbsp Dried Onion Flakes
1 tsp Cinnamon (divided between steps – see directions)
⅜ tsp Nutmeg (divided between steps – see directions)
⅜ tsp Allspice (divided between steps – see directions)
½ tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 can Large Butter Beans (rinsed and strained)
1 can Kidney Beans (rinsed and strained)
1 can Pinto Beans (rinsed and strained)
1 can Black Medium Chili Beans
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper
1 heaping tsp Salt
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Crystal’s Hot Sauce
2 cups Water
1. Deseed both the bell peppers and the jalapeno pepper, then dice into small even pieces. The bell peppers should be in about ¼ inch chunks, and the jalapenos should be cut into as small of pieces as possible.
Kitchen Tip: Peppers are one ingredient that I like to always keep in the house, but they go bad so quickly. To get around this issue I prefer to flash freeze them and keep them in the freezer. Follow the link to flash freeze and store your own peppers.
2. Heat a large skillet and brown the venison. Once it’s browned, add in the peppers, garlic, dried onion flakes, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice, and the dark brown sugar into the meat. Continue to cook until the peppers are softened, then pour all the ingredients into the bottom of a slow cooker.
Kitchen Tip: Venison should be lean enough that you shouldn’t have to strain the meat, but if for some reason there is a lot of grease in the pan, scoop the meat and peppers out with a slotted spoon instead of dumping everything right into the pot.
3. Rinse and strain the butter beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans, then add all three of them to the pot. Also pour in the black chili beans, and petite diced tomatoes.
4. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, ground chipotle chile pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and Crystal’s hot sauce. Stir to combine.
Kitchen Tip: Tabasco can be used instead of Crystal’s, but overall, I have found Crystal’s has a better flavor.
5. Pour in the water and the remaining ½ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, and ⅛ tsp allspice. Stir one last time before putting the lid on the pot.
6. Cook in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours on low.
Even though it may seem strange to add cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into chili, the flavors these three spices bring when combined with the heat of the other ingredients makes such a subtle difference that elevates this chili above all other chili in my opinion. If you are looking for something different, but are in the mood for chili, look no further than this recipe. For the perfect meal, try combining this dish with my Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins, and garnish with crackers and a small amount of shredded cheddar cheese.
Not in the mood for venison but still want chili? Try some of my other chili recipes instead by following the links below.