Friday, May 14, 2010

A Year of Deer, Episode 16: BBQ Venison Chili

With all that ground venison in my freezer, it was about time to make another batch of chili. This time I modified a recipe from a Weight Watchers slow-cooker cookbook I've got on loan from Allison.

The Ingredients:
1 lb ground venison (if you lack deer, you can use lean ground beef instead, of course)
1 orange pepper, diced (use any color pepper you like; I like orange)
1 onion, diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 in chunks
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (29 oz) can pinto beans, drained & rinsed (next time I might try kidney or half & half)
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tb ancho chile pepper powder
3-4 Tb cilantro, chopped
Shredded cheddar or co-jack cheese, for topping

The Directions: 
  1. Brown meat in skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with utensil, until no longer pink. Put meat into the crock of a 5-6 qt slow cooker. 
  2. Add pepper, onion, squash, and garlic to crock. Give everything a good stir. 
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, BBQ sauce, and chile powder to crock. Give it another good stir.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or 4-5 hours on high.
  5. Just before serving, stir in cilantro. Ladle into bowls and serve with shredded cheese for topping.
The Verdict: Another winner! Both hubby and I really liked this chili. An interesting set of ingredients (for a chili, anyway) resulted in great flavor and an amazing aroma. Now that I'm working from home (in a room directly off the kitchen, no less), I've got all day to enjoy (and at intervals, be driven to salivating by) the smell of whatever's simmering away in the crockpot. I sent leftovers to work with Travis today, and he just reported to me by phone that when he heated it up for lunch it he was the envy of the cafeteria. Travis said I could make it spicier next time, which I'll consider.

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