I came in from a rainy all day sit during a peak-of-the-rut bow hunt, tired, cold, wet, and shivering. The lack of buck activity just added to my frigid, damp mood. Shedding my sopping outer wear and boots, I immediately popped a mug of “two” bowl venison chili in the microwave, and a few spoonfuls later, a satisfying warmth spread throughout my body. A smile formed on my face as I realized just how tasty my next buck is going to be! The day suddenly seemed shorter and warmer. “Five alarm” or mild, nothing satisfies a frozen hunter like a bowl of piping hot chili. Chili can be made from any game; bear is as tasty as antelope. This recipe is easy to make, freezes great, and gets better with each reheating.
Preparing this one pot wonder is easy and fun, just follow these simple steps and a hearty meal will be waiting for you after a cold day afield. A good chili shouldn’t be loaded up with too many ingredients, keep it simple. Chili needs to cook a LONG time! The best gauge will be your celery, when it dissolves, the chili is ready. Cut and chop all your ingredients before starting to cook. You can use your game meat either ground or cubed. I prefer the taste of cubed but my family favors the ground meat version, both are good but each has a distinctive palate. Chili is a great way to finish off the rest of last years frozen harvest as it starts to reach the point of “old age”.
3 lbs of any game meat..its not worth making less, just freeze what you don’t eat
2 sweet onions…diced…they will cook down to nothing
celery…sliced, ½ as much as the onions
any commercial chili spice package..one package per pound (you can mix you own spices but its so much easier this way)
a dash of your favorite hot sauce, make it spicier at the table, not in the pot
one can whole tomatoes, crush them in your hand and drop in
8 oz tomato soup, NOT concentrate
one can dark kidney beans
in a large deep pot, brown the meat on high temperature, stir in the onions stir often as you add each ingredient. Wait a minute or so between each item. Add everything in the above order! Next comes the celery, stir in the spice, then add a little hot sauce crush in the tomatoes one at a time, then mix in the soup, finally add the beans.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for several hours, stirring often. Ladle into a bowl and top with shredded cheddar cheese. We always put several hot sauce varieties on the table so each person can find their personal spice groove.
My hunting partner and favorite butcher Mike Zambardino named it “two” bowl chili because as he says, “ Nobody can eat just one bowl.”