Venison Chili (Without Tomatoes)

1 pound ground venison

1 cup dried navy beans

2 medium onions, chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or more according to your fondness for chili flavor)

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon summer savory

1/4 teaspoon chervil

2 beef bouillon cubes

4 strips bacon

1 tablespoon bacon fat

1-1/2 teaspoons butter

1 bay leaf

Preheat oven 325 degrees.

Soak beans for a long time, preferably overnight.

Place beans in kettle with approximately two quarts water (depending on your tastes, you might want to also add to the cooking water a half cup or so sherry, red wine or apple cider), bouillon cubes, spices, whole onion, lard and bay leaf. Cook until beans are just shy of tender.

Cut bacon strips into quarters, begin to cook. When bacon is almost done, add venison. Cook until venison is brown but not well-done. Drain meat and reserve.

Melt butter in a small fry pan. Saute 2 onions and mushrooms together until cooked but still firm.

Place venison/bacon and onions/mushrooms into a covered casserole and, with a slotted spoon, add beans. Discard bay leaf and whole onion. Pour one inch bean liquor into casserole and stir. Place in 325 degree oven for one half hour (or in microwave for five to seven minutes on high setting).

Copyright 1998-2014 Stephen Ricciardelli