Chili, two ways

Up north, we made chili with tomatoes, kidney beans and very little beef.

I know. The horror.

When I came down to Denton to go to college, my roommate, Terri, a San Antonio native, and I would make chili with buttermilk biscuits from her recipes. Another roommate, Charlene, a Houston native, would dump her chili over Fritos and put chopped onions and grated cheddar cheese on top.

Over time, the family recipe for chili has evolved based on what I learned from my roommates. When the boys were teens, Mark would head to the ranch near El Dorado each year during deer season so we could stuff the freezer with enough venison to get us through a year of hamburgers and chili. (I’ll share the recipe for my favorite, venison medallions, soon.)

Chili is going to be on the stove tomorrow night, after the kids scored some ground bison during a shopping trip this weekend. Sam won’t eat it. We’ll have to make him a bison patty on the side.

I know. The horror.

Quick Red-Meat Chili

1 large, or two medium, onion, chopped

2 T. chili powder (Penzey’s is best)

1 1/2 lb. of ground beef, bison, or venison

1 can of Ranch Style Beans (Want more beans? Use the big can. Don’t want to cook from a can? Prepare¬†this recipe from Homesick Texan, using 4-6 cups in the chili.)

Saute the onions in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a deep cast-iron skillet until they are very, very soft. Add the chili powder and saute another 1-2 minutes, until the spices are very fragrant. Add the meat and brown. Drain any excess fat. Stir in beans and heat through until bubbling, then serve.

Variation: For turkey chili, substitute 2 lb. of ground turkey and also add a pint jar of canned tomatoes when you add the beans. The tomatoes give the turkey chili more complex flavor and body.



  1. Venison steaks on July 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    […] Another favorite venison recipe, as promised, from Chili, two ways. […]

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