Charlie's Venison Chili

Charlie’s Venison Chili

Whenever I go to visit my friend Charlie Sisk, inventor of the STAR rifle, the talk is first about guns and the mechanics of shooting, he taking it upon himself to try to make me as much a rifle loony as he is. I am 100% on board when he talks about shooting, and just how ‘perishable a skill’ it is. (You need to practice, practice, practice. And you need to be very thoughtful about the process.) Unfortunately, my eyes glaze over when he talks minutiae of handloading. But very soon, he takes pity on me, and the talk turns to cooking.  Charlie has given me a couple of great Tex-Mex recipes over the years and in return I taught him how to make a very tasty potato soup.  (I’m not sure that was a fair trade, but Charlie thought it was.)

So when I started writing the soup, stew and chili cookbook, I had to add Charlie’s chili.  Problem is, he’s an intuitive cook, so despite having his ‘recipe’ in black and white, it was a bit vague in details.  ‘Handfuls’ and half handfuls can be rather less accurate than ½ cup.   (Just sayin’.)  Plus his eating habits are a bit different from mine.  (Yes, I’m a northerner.  Charlie grew up in Kentucky.)

So here is his recipe. Mostly. Since Charlie always has bacon grease in the house, he just used the grease to fry the veggies and meat.  I don’t use bacon as often (yes I love it, it doesn’t love me) so I chopped up actual bacon for the cooking, and left it in the chili.  Charlie also loves spicy, so his original recipe called for a ‘big dose of black pepper’ and ‘½ a handful’ of cilantro.  I found 1 teaspoon of pepper more than enough and, while Charlie’s hands are stronger and more muscular than mine, they are the same length and width, so I just grabbed a half a handful of fresh cilantro leaves, which just happened to fill my 1 cup mini-grinder, and chopped it until almost liquid.  It yielded about ¼ cup.   (FYI: that’s a common ratio. One cup of unchopped leaves, basil, cilantro, sage–whatever they are–will break down to about ¼ cup finely chopped.) Charlie’s eyes are probably glazing over now.

Thing is, while Charlie Sisk is a darned good rifle maker, his chili is superb! And it’s never too hot for chili!

Charlie’s Venison Chili Recipe

Makes 2 quarts/8 cups

Ingredients

  • ½ pound bacon, in all, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground venison
  • 1 big red onion, chopped small
  • 1 green bell (sweet) pepper, chopped small
  • 1 bag (1¼ ounce) McCormick Taco seasoning mix (30% less salt)
  • 2 cans original flavor Rotel (10 ounces each)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped (almost liquid) cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

Cooking The Venison Chili

  1. Heat a Dutch oven (DO) over medium heat, and cook half the bacon.  When the bacon starts getting brown, add the ground venison and cook it until no pink is left, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Put the rest of the bacon in the DO and let it get nicely brown. Add the onion and sweet green bell pepper to the bacon and fry until the veggies are slightly browned, another 4-5 minutes.
  2. Return the meat to the DO, then add the McCormick Taco seasoning, Rotel, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and black pepper. Give the pot a good stir, then break up the cream cheese into 1-inch squares, and add to the chili.  With a spatula, break up the cream cheese some more and stir it into the chili, until it all melts evenly into the sauce.
  3. Serve hot, with corn muffins or corn chips and ice cold cerveza.
Charlie's Delicious Venison Chili | Rifles and Recipes

Try this delicious and easy to make venison chili recipe today, it's sure to become a family favorite!

Type: main dish

Cuisine: American

Keywords: venison chili

Recipe Yield: 2 Quarts

Recipe Ingredients:

  • ½ pound bacon, in all, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground venison
  • 1 big red onion, chopped small
  • 1 green bell (sweet) pepper, chopped small
  • 1 bag (1¼ ounce) McCormick Taco seasoning mix (30% less salt)
  • 2 cans original flavor Rotel (10 ounces each)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped (almost liquid) cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

Recipe Instructions:

Cooking:

  • Heat a Dutch oven (DO) over medium heat, and cook half the bacon. When the bacon starts getting brown, add the ground venison and cook it until no pink is left, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Put the rest of the bacon in the DO and let it get nicely brown. Add the onion and sweet green bell pepper to the bacon and fry until the veggies are slightly browned, another 4-5 minutes.
  • Return the meat to the DO, then add the McCormick Taco seasoning, Rotel, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and black pepper. Give the pot a good stir, then break up the cream cheese into 1-inch squares, and add to the chili. With a spatula, break up the cream cheese some more and stir it into the chili, until it all melts evenly into the sauce.
  • Serve hot, with corn muffins or corn chips and ice cold cerveza.

Editor's Rating:
5
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