A good chili takes time - there are no shortcuts. So when I make chili…I might as well MAKE CHILI. I’m often asked for wild game-specific recipes and the thing is, for something like chili, any red meat (or ground turkey!) works great. Use venison, elk, bison, moose, or beef. While each animal does lend a slightly different flavour, they all work well. It just comes down to your preference and your freezer stock.
These are my favourite quart-sized freezer containers that make freezing extra soup-type things a breeze. They will last through many uses so are worth the investment.
This chili is inspired by two different places. Where I grew up, there is a bakery called Embe Bakery, and they also have a soup/sandwich bar. They make this delicious chili that when I was pregnant with Freja was one of my cravings. I’d stop in for an inexpensive bowl of chili with buns and butter for lunch and the protein did my morning sickness good!
When I was on bed rest in August, a friend brought us chili and buns and GOODNESS, that chili took me right back to Embe! It looked totally different, but had similar flavour profile. I asked her roughly for the recipe and the ingredient that stood out to me was baked beans. I knew this was the ticket. I can my own baked beans (that pressure canning recipe is in my insiders club membership) and I knew I had to try it. You can use store-bought baked beans, or I’ll give you a simple substitution
I struck GOLD, yo. So delicious. This is the chili I’ve been after. I hope your family loves it as much as mine! Make sure to slather some sourdough with good butter and enjoy.
Chili is such a versatile leftover. You can make chili mac n cheese, chili on baked potatoes, heck, just chili on a blustery day when all you need to do is thaw and then warm up a container of it. This recipe makes about 2 gallons, so it's somewhere around 10-16 servings depending on appetite and what you serve it with.
Big Batch Moose Chili
- 3 onions diced
- Bacon fat, lard, butter or olive oil
- 2 cups diced bell peppers
- 2 cups diced celery
- 8-10 garlic cloves chopped
- 4.5-5 lbs ground moose, venison, elk, bison or beef
- 12 cups crushed tomatoes you can also blend up diced tomatoes in their juice
- 3 cans cans baked beans with pork aka 6 cups or 3 pint jars (see notes for sub)
- 3 cans black beans or kidney beans aka 6 cups or 3 pint jars
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons dried tarragon or oregano
- 3 tablespoons cumin seeds OR 2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- In a 3+ gallon capacity heavy bottom pot, saute the onions in the fat/oil over medium heat until they start to brown a little. Add bell peppers, celery and garlic, saute another few minutes, then add the meat. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the meat is starting to brown but not all the way cooked.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer, and then turn down to medium/low heat and simmer just barely bubbling for 2-3 hours. If you simmer too hard or don't have a heavy bottom pot, chili loves to burn. If you think its too thin, add some tomato paste. Too thick? Add some water to thin it out. Taste for salt, and heat, adding some hot pepper flakes if you like spicy chili.
- In our house, we serve chili with butter bread/buns or cheese broiled on bread…we’re not into toppings, but feel free to do it up however you’d like with sour cream, shredded cheese, etc.
- Scoop leftovers into freezer safe containers, cool with lid cracked then seal, label and freeze.
- If I didn’t have any baked beans on hand, I would add 3 cans/6 cups cooked navy/small white beans, and then based on a shortened version of my baked beans recipe I would add the following; 3 tablespoon maple syrup, 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoon tomato, and 3 cups water.
- You could also make my vegan baked beans recipe and use 6 cups of those.