Eric Myers was stuck at home in Minnesota last December while workers took care of an emergency problem with his furnace, so he decided to head to the kitchen for some cooking therapy.
Yeah, cooking therapy. You know what that is, right? When you just need to do something in the kitchen, relax, think things through, maybe make a nice lasagne or whip up a cake or something. For Myers, it meant creating a little venison chili.
Here is Myers’ account of the day and his Two Bean Chili recipe. Enjoy!
In Andover, Minn., just north of Minneapolis, on a snowy December day I was stuck at home without a working furnace. Yeah, old reliable finally turned well—just plain old. Technicians showed me a cracked heat exchanger and $3,500 later I took an unscheduled off day to have it replaced. Four inches of fresh snow fell overnight and it was still falling hard as the install team arrived at 7 that morning.
Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to have bagged a 2 year old doe with my trusty 30-30 Marlin from a two man portable turned face-first into a northwest wind and overlooking a frozen swamp directly in front of me—perfect hunting conditions. Sure enough two doe popped out of that swamp at 3 p.m. that Saturday afternoon. They were not running but they were “on the move” about 100 yards out. Found the lead doe in my 4x fixed Tasco Pronghorn scope and fired.
Due to the terrain there would be no follow-up shot. The doe turned 180 degrees and headed back the way she came. Not sure it was a kill shot I sat another fifteen minutes. As I got to the site I had good blood and found her piled up just 20 yards away. The doe was not the smallest I have seen taken and she was certainly not the biggest. I gutted her, tagged her, and dragged her myself. The hunt was surreal and replays in my mind so vividly and easily it’s like watching precious childhood home movies.
I was still sitting on about 12lbs of ground venison from a buddy’s harvest last year and wanted to use it up. With the install team working hard and very little in the refrigerator I was able to come up with the following chili recipe unplanned and only from what I happened to have on hand. I call it my Two Bean Venison Chili. Try it and keep warm. I know I will!
Two Bean Venison Chili
1-2lbs ground venison
½ gallon frozen bag of tomato puree (boiled then drained)
½ jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup Salsa, Chunky or Garden Style
1 cup of Chili Sauce
1 can Black Beans (drained)
1 can of White Kidney Beans (drained)
1 onion (small)
½ glove of garlic
½ cup of soy sauce
¼ Lime Juice
¼ cup ketchup
4 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Lowry’s Salt
2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp Coarse Ground Salt
1 Tbsp Cracked Ground Pepper
2 Tsp Red Cayenne Pepper
Boil frozen tomato puree and strain through colander. Return drained puree to stock pot then combine spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili sauce, ketchup, and both cans of beans to tomato base. Separately, brown ground venison using non-stick spray or light oil due to leanness of venison. Add soy sauce and lime juice to venison and simmer. Drain ground venison and add to tomato base in stock pot. Sautee onions and garlic then combine to base. Add all dry ingredients to base. Stir. Do not add dry ingredients directly to ground venison as it cooks by itself. This will dry out the ground venison and apply a heavy salt taste to the meat instead of the chili.
Top with saltine crackers, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and enjoy!