I almost messed up, ya'll. This chili recipe was soooo close to being a two-bean venison chili, but then I remembered the third bean. The sneaky cans of Bean #3 hanging out in the back of the pantry. This is the kind of thing that keeps food bloggers up at night. I mean, google two-bean chili. Go ahead.
Now google three-bean chili. TEN TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE WANT THREE BEANS IN THEIR CHILI. So there ya go. Bean math.
Spicy Three Bean Venison Chili
But the star of this rich, red venison chili is not the beans. It is the venison. Tender and lean chunks of last year's deer slow simmered in chili spices. This is why the good Lord gave us spoons.
It was time to finish off last year's deer. You know, the last package of yummy venison stew meat hanging out in the freezer.
You've been saving it. But now it is time to get it out and make this Spicy Three Bean Venison Chili. (Have to make room for this hunting season, right?)
I think chili should be the official food of fall. I know, turkey and dressing pretty much has that covered. Or is it anything pumpkin related. (Check out our Spiced Pumpkin Muffins.)
But for me, at the very first nip of chill in the air, I'm busting out the chili pot. I can't wait anymore.
Of course, I'm the kind of gal that eats a steaming bowl of hot venison chili in the middle of summer, too. Equal opportunity chili eater. That's me.
Thick and hearty, with a ton of spices, this rich venison chili is so good. Browned, tender and lean deer meat is cooked with bell peppers and onions. Stir in beans and chili powder (and some other ingredients at the bottom of this post), and you are well on your way to The Chili Promised Land.
Tips on making a delicious chili:
- Brown the meat first. Don't crowd the pan. This means you may have to cook the venison (or whatever meat you are using) in batches. That is ok. If you put too much in the pan, the meat will just sweat. You want brown. Brown = flavor.
- Stir the beans and spices in BEFORE you add the liquid. Why? It does two things. First, the beans will soak up all of that meat juice and flavor. Second, the spices will get nice and toasted and release more of their flavor.
- Season to your taste. I tend to have a heavy-hand when it comes to chili. Why? I want my chili to taste like...you know...CHILI. Not tomato soup. However, everyone's palate is different, so feel free to adjust our recipe for your taste.
You can use any type of beans you love. We went with red kidney beans (my husband's favorite), a can of pinto beans (my favorite), and white cannelini beans. Because that's what was in the pantry.
More bean combos:
- Black beans, navy beans, red beans
- Garbanzo beans, light red kidney beans, and pinto beans
Or you could go crazy and use black-eyed peas. (Been there, done that, here's the recipe.)
Look at this bowl of yum. Pure deliciousness. Spice that's nice. (Ok, I'll stop.)
Rich and warm, bold and full of meat and beans, this recipe is one for the keeper file.
More Glorious Food in Bowls:
Serve with your favorite crackers, corn chips or tortilla strips and top with cheese.
Or, it is damn good just like it is.
Spicy Three Bean Venison Chili
- 2 lbs venison cut into 1 inch cubes (stew meat, tenderloin, etc.)
- 4 cups V8 juice
- 2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 - 15 oz cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 - 15 oz cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 2 - 15 oz cans white cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 - 10 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 1 oz chili seasoning mix packet
- ⅓ to ½ cup chili powder
- 3 TB honey
- 2 TB olive oil
- 2 TB smoked paprika
- ½ TB onion powder
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Salt to taste only if needed, taste first!
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the venison cubes in batches, stirring until brown on all sides. Work in batches. Do not overcook, just get the outsides browned.
- Stir in onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in the drained and rinsed beans, chili seasoning packet, chili powder, and all other seasonings. Cook and stir for 3 - 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, V8, cream of mushroom soup until thick and creamy. Add the honey and stir well.
- Increase heat to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for atleast 1 hour. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.