True Story: I once made this oh-so-delicious chili recipe for a group of friends, and as we began eating, I was raving about how healthy my recipe is. Especially when I make it with the ground venison my dad packages just for me, without any fat added to it. Venison? You all are ok with venison, right? I'd forgotten that I was sitting at a table with a group of people raised in an enormous city and who'd probably never even met someone who hunts. To this day, my best friend teases me about "that time you served us venison and asked if we were ok with it after we'd already started eating." Ha! And sorry, guys.
But, really, as a red meat, venison is insanely healthier than the beef you typically find in grocery stores. And that's because it is wild game.
Plants and animals that are left to raise themselves turn out to be healthier options for eating, because they've grown as nature intended. Without bulking-up feeds and fertilizers. They're hearty because they've survived nature. And therefore, healthier for us to consume.
Wild game is packed full of Omega 3s, Vitamin E, and antioxidants and is typically very lean. Yes, it can taste "gamey," but I nearly always use it chili or taco recipes where the spices stand out as the main flavor. For those who don't have dads who fly clear across the country with a cooler full of venison and dry ice, you can definitely substitute with ground beef. Try to find some that's labeled "grass fed" and "free range" in order to get the greater health benefits.
p.s. It was completely unintended, but that green towel in my photos looks like I'm trying really hard to be Superbowl festive! I didn't even think about it looking like football turf until I uploaded my photos later. But, I love it!
The Bomb Chili
1 medium onion, diced
1 – 2lb. ground venison or extra lean ground beef
4, 16oz. cans beans, rinsed and drained
2, 28oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
1/4 c. Dijon mustard
2-4 Tbsp. red chili garlic paste
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bottle beer
6oz. can tomato paste
Johnny’s season salt (or your favorite seasoning salt), to taste
Cook the onion and ground meat in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through and onions are translucent. Drain any grease. Stir all ingredients into a crock pot or large roasting pan. Cook in crock pot on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours, or bake in large roasting pan at 250 degrees for 5 hours. Stir occasionally. Makes a vat (about 14 cups).
(MIA: ground meat, beer, and tomato paste. Whoops!)