Chili, simply put, is something that all Americans have grown up eating and there are about a million ways to make it. Some of my favorite chili’s are vegetarian with mostly beans taking center stage but I also love a hearty beef chili, especially with all the crunchy and creamy toppings that serve to balance out the flavors . Many a fine chili has both beans and meat. I have made chili so many different ways over the years and I have never really used a recipe because at it’s heart, chili is very simple dish.
A few years ago, when I began to address my digestive issues, I learned that my body has a hard time processing legumes which means no more bean chili! I wanted to create a new chili that would nourish my gut while I continue to heal and something that whole family could enjoy. Lately I have been craving this hearty chili con carne made with wild venison and boosted with some healing bone broth. And, depending on who I am serving, sometimes I might add a few beans to the mix or we leave the beans and rice out and eat this as a “Paleo style” meal atop a baked kumera or on top of spice toasted veggies or cauliflower rice. It’s a very flexible meal and I find myself reheating leftovers along side soft scrambled eggs for breakfast or for the teen after school nacho snack.
Lately, I have been cooking with wild meats and we are lucky to have a great selection of game meats around town. I am generally a fan of getting more diversity in our diet and reducing our exposure to pesticides and herbicides and I feel better about these animals living a natural life eating wild foods and foraging as they could not do in paddocks. Also, these wild animals have not been “interfered with” by breeders and I would think they would be a lot closer to their original species. There is a lot of interesting discussion to be had about the ethical considerations of farm raised animals vs. wild and the wild deer in NZ cause damage to native forests by feeding on forest plants, trees and seedlings which can change the diversity of the forest floor. There are many deer control programmes being run my DOC around the country in hopes of controlling the population. So with this in mind, I have been seeking out more wild meat to add to our plate. Especially venison.
I prefer to make this simple and delicious chili as a double batch in my slow cooker and freeze portions for quick lunches and easy meals. The long slow cooking brings out the tender flavors although a similar result can be accomplished in a good heavy bottom pot on the stovetop. The choice is yours!
- 1 kg Wild Venison Mince or organic beef mince
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 tins organic kidney beans (optional)
- 200g organic tomato paste
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes with juice
- 1- 2 cups bone broth (beef is prefered)
- 2 teaspoons chipolte chili powder (optional)
- 1 t ground kelp (Kelp Sprinkles)
- 2 t sea salt
- 2 T “American Chili Powder” or 2 tablespoons ground paprika, 2 t ground cumin, 1 T dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Steamed rice or cauliflower rice (or a baked whole kumera)
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Creme fraiche, sour cream, or cashew cheese (df)
- Chopped fresh tomatoes (only if in season)
- Cubed avocado chunks
- Sliced spring onions or finely diced red onion
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Organic corn chips (optional)
- Fresh saurkraut
- In a large saute pan or skillet brown the venison, onion and garlic over med heat until the meat is no longer pink. Transfer to slow cooker along with beans (if using), tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and spices. Place the lid on and set the slow cooker to low 8-9 hours or high 4-5 hours.
- In a large dutch oven or casserole pan with a tight fitting lid, brown the venison, onion and garlic over med heat until the meat is no longer pink and add in the beans (if using), tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and spices. Mix to combine and place the lid on and set the flame to very low simmer 1-3 hours.
- Season to taste and serve in warm bowls on top of rice and allow everyone to add toppings of their choice. A crisp green salad on the side wouldn’t go amiss!
- freeze leftovers as a quick nacho topping