Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Deer Beer Chili

This looks like an average bowl of chili.  But it is special.

Very, very special.

Deer.  Beer.  Chili.

Three awesome things combining to form an ultimate trifecta of kickass.

If you don't hunt or you don't want to spend an outrageous amount of money of farm-raised venison (which can sometimes be found at specialty grocers like Whole Foods), I suggest you make some friends with guns.

Venison is absolutely delicious and incredibly healthy.  It is low in fat and cholesterol, but has all the good health benefits of red meat.  Many processors will sell the fully broken down, packaged, and hard frozen animals to walk in customers if the hunter doesn't pick up the deer within a certain amount of time.  You just have to pay the processing fee, which generally ranges from about $65-$80; you get a lot of meat, so don't be dissuaded by that price.

Deer Beer Chili
1 lb ground venison
~1 Tbsp bacon fat (or oil)
1 med-lrg onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 lrg cloves garlic, minced
12 oz beer*
2 can diced tomatoes
2 cans beans, drained (I used one can of black beans and one of a tri-bean blend)
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ancho chili powder
3/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional, can sub 1/4 tsp cayenne for it)
3/4 tsp oregano (try to find Mexican oregano)
salt to taste

   In a large pot over medium heat, saute onion and bell pepper in bacon fat for about 5 minutes.  Add venison, break up the meat as it cooks.  When venison is about 3/4 cooked, add garlic and ~1/2 tsp salt.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  Add beer.  Simmer until beer is reduced by half.
   Add tomatoes, beans, chili powders and oregano.  Salt to taste.  Simmer covered for 30-45 minutes.  Uncover and simmer another 10-15 minutes.
   Serves 4-6

*Use a good, full-bodied beer that is fairly dark.  This is not the place for a lager, pilsner, or IPA.  I used Blackstone's Nut Brown Ale.

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