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The Best Chili

Chili needs no introduction, it’s the ultimate comfort food. We love it all winter long but it’s especially good for our current snow day. We love to use Elk or Venison because it adds a rich gaminess that blends so well with all the spices. A little bit of bacon adds smokiness and just enough extra fat. If you are using ground beef instead of game, I would omit the bacon.

What you need:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lb ground venison, elk, or bison

2 -3 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 small sweet onion, finely chopped

2 poblano peppers, finely chopped

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp ancho chili powder

1 tsp dried crushed chipotle chilies

1/2 tsp dried onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cups of tomato sauce (15 oz can)

2 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 15 oz can of dark red kidney beans

1 15 oz can of black beans

Salt and pepper

Begin by adding the butter and olive oil into a soup pot and turning the burner to medium. Toss in the onions, peppers, chopped bacon, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally. After the bacon has rendered and the onions and peppers have softened up quite a bit add all of the spices. Coat the peppers and onions with the spices. Let that cook for a minute and then add your meat. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top and brown the meat. Chop up the meat while stirring occasionally and when it’s mostly cooked add the tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for around 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and make sure the bottom isn’t burning. After about 45 minutes rinse and drain the beans and then add them to the pot. Taste and see if it needs any additional salt or seasonings. Cook for another 10-15 minutes and then it’s ready to serve. If you can make this a a day in advance it’s even better the second day. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips, and/or corn bread. Yum!

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