A Break from Biking

Well, not really. I went out this morning. Rode from my house out to the starting point for the 1/2 metric century from last Sunday. Rode that course and returned to home. I have two observations about my Saturday ride.

  1. It was turn-signal optional day in Ashburn.
  2. People (esp. men in kit) need to slow the eff down on the W&OD

That is all.

Why I’m REALLY writing is: tonight’s dinner was spectacular. One of my husband’s friends from work who is a hunter gave us some venison ground sausage in the spring. It’s been in the freezer. One of the things we discussed during the Fuller Center Bike Adventure is the admonition to live simply. When I returned home I decided to start with cleaning out the freezer of anything that is salvageable. (My hope is that we get it so cleaned out we can uplug that freezer/fridge and give it away. Really – two of these in a house with only two people?)

I found a place on-line that listed all the ingredients I needed for venison chili. I copied that page, deleted all the ingredients I already had and sent W to the commissary for the rest. Having refrigerator-thawed the sausage, I was ready.

Except there were no directions. When I clicked on the recipe it took me to a 404 error. Oops! (I know, I should have clicked through when I saw the ingredients. I just got excited)

Being an experienced cook, I improvised. And boy, this was the best chili I’ve EVER had. No kidding. So here is the recipe if you want it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 dollop bacon grease (or cooking oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (I freshly grate my nutmeg)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can (24 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 large can (40.5 ounces) dark red kidney beans
  • Cheddar cheese, for topping

Instructions

Put the sausage and pork in a skillet to brown over low to medium heat. Be sure to move them around and break up the clumps.

While they are browning, chop the onion, garlic, and tomato. Be smarter than me and go ahead and rinse those kidney beans. While you’re at it, open that can of tomato sauce.

Oh, and measure out all those spices except the hot sauce. Just get that bottle out and keep it handy.

Once you have the onions and garlic chopped/minced, put a dollop of bacon grease (or some kind of oil) in a dutch oven. When it’s hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook them until the onions are translucent.

Drain any fat from the meat. Add the meat to the dutch oven. Add all the spices, the kidney beans, and the tomatoes. Add the hot sauce.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and wait.

Call your sous-chef to come do clean-up and sharpen the knives because you almost cut your finger off dicing tomatoes. 🙂

I think you could simmer this as long as you want, but we couldn’t stand it anymore so after 30 minutes we tasted and wowza – fell upon it as if we hadn’t eaten for weeks.

We added a bit of shredded sharp cheddar to the top of each bowl. I used the 7 remaining saltine crackers that in the cupboard to scoop up some of the chili (because when I was a kid that’s what crackers were for). We also put together a quick green salad with butter lettuce.

Served with a Guinness for W and a weizen beer for me.

For afters, I had a scoop and a half of chocolate ice cream. Because, you know, it was sitting in the freezer too. W had another Guinness.

Tomorrow we’ll serve it with some sour cream and possibly green onions. It’s just going to get spicier as the flavors meld.

This made a LOT of chili, so if you’re in my neighborhood over this weekend and feel like you need some, please stop by!

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