Beer, Bacon and Brown Sugar; My Favorite Venison and Pork Chili Recipe
For me, Winter is Chili season. Fires in the fireplace with a good book. Stouts and Bourbons in the glass. And Chili in the bowl.
This is one of my favorite chili recipes. It has just enough kick and then a little sweet at the end. Plus it's a great way to use some of that fresh venison from the Fall's hunt. It takes about 2-3 hours to make (with prep time) but it's worth it and it makes a pretty large serving; easily enough for 6-8 people.
Here's what you'll need:
• 6 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
• 3 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
• 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound ground Venison
• 1 pound Bob Evans Italian pork sausage (or similar)
• 1 cup beer (I prefer a brown ale)
• One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
• One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
• One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly crisp, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon is browned, add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano and smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender and seasonings are aromatic. Add the venison and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once venison is broken up and beginning to brown, add the pork. Break up with wooden spoon like the venison, and brown, until no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and beans. Toss together, then add the crushed and diced tomatoes and the brown sugar (plus or minus to taste) and stir together. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1-1/2 - 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
I like to serve this chili with Cornbread, but it goes good with damn near anything or on its own. Enjoy!