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West Wisconsin Venison Chili

1 lb. mixed dry beans (Use equal quantities of black turtle beans, pinto beans and red beans. The night before, cover the beans with plenty of fresh water. In the morning, pour off the soaking water, add enough fresh water to cover and simmer until just soft-about 2 hours.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3-6 garlic cloves, pressed
2 pounds venison
3 Tbsp. chili powder (Gebhardt’s brand suggested)

2 quarts tomatoes (fresh with skins removed or home canned)
1 cup stock or broth
Add the cooked beans
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

Optional Ingredients:
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
2+ tsp. cocoa

Slowly cook the onions and garlic in olive oil for 15 minutes. Add the ground venison and cook until it is no longer pink (“browning” ground meat is mostly a myth). Ad the chili powder and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes and stock, bring it to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Add the cooked beans with the cooking liquid, brown sugar, cider vinegar and any optional ingredients. Simmer the chili to reduce the liquid until it is thickened according to the preferences of the cook and the diners—one hour or more.

If more “heat” is desired, serving a good, flavorful hot sauce on the side is suggested.

Submitted by Ralph Schneider, Riverland Energy Cooperative

 

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