Today I’m sharing a new recipe and an old standby. :) I tried out the venison chili recipe just this week, but the cornbread recipe has been a favorite with Will and I since our marriage. Let’s start with the chili. I am always looking for new ways to cook venison since Will likes to hunt, but recipes for game are definitely not as plentiful as they are for the usual grocery store staples like beef and chicken. I scrounged up a recipe for venison chili, made a few alterations, and ended up with a meaty chili that was perfect for a chilly, damp spring day.
Hearty Venison Chili
Recipe adapted from Food.com
- 1 lb ground venison
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 5 red/yellow mini bell peppers, diced (1 normal-sized bell pepper of any color would work, but the red and yellow added some nice color to the chili)
- 1 14-oz can Ro-tel diced tomatoes (any variety)
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 14-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14-oz can chili beans (black, red, or pinto beans would also work)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until the edges begin to brown. Add venison and cook until meat is browned, stirring often.
- Add tomatoes, seasonings, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Add beans and simmer for 1-2 hours. I left the lid off for the first hour to reduce the liquid a bit, and then put the lid on for the rest of the cook time.
This recipe can obviously be changed up quite a bit and is more of a guideline than actual rules. You could make this with ground beef instead of venison, you could add chopped jalapenos or crushed red pepper, top with green onions and cheese… the sky (or the size of your dutch oven) is the limit. In retrospect, I think this chili could definitely use another can of diced tomatoes and I would use black beans in place of the chili beans.
Of course, you can’t eat chili without cornbread (well, you could, but why?!). This is a sweeter cornbread (which is more popular in the north) and not the more savory kind I grew up with in the south, but it’s just sweet and moist enough to make Will happy without being too soft or cakey – it still has that hearty, cornmeal crumb. This cornbread is the best of both worlds. Really… you have to try it. I ate a square of it for breakfast this morning with my coffee. It’s that delicious.
Best Ever Buttermilk Cornbread
Original Recipe Here
Yield: One 8″ pan (about 9 servings)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan with butter.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar. Quickly add the eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda in a liquid measuring cup and whisk into the mixture in the pan. Whisk in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Mmm, delicious. Have a slice. Or three. I won’t judge. ;)
~ ~ ~
So what’s your take on cornbread – southern or northern style (or all of the above)? Also, if you have any good venison recipes, send them my way! :)