Campfire Venison Chili

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You will need a 4 or 5 quart cast iron Dutch oven.

I suggest a Lodge 4 quart camp Dutch oven #10CO2 or 5 quart Dutch oven #8DO2 .

Camping tripod

I used a take-apart, portable tripod I made myself. Click here for construction details.

Here's what else you'll need:
  • 2 to 3 lbs ground venison or low-fat beef
  • 2 tbsps cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 to 5 cups water Start with 3, add as needed
  • 1 15 oz can of Ranch Style or Chili Style beans w/juice
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 10 oz can diced Rotel® tomatoes or tomatoes w/green chilies
  • 3 tbsps chili powder
  • 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Browing the meat Put oil in Dutch oven and place the oven low over fire for high heat. When oven and oil are hot, place meat, onion, bell pepper, and celery in pot and stir until meat is brown.

When meat is brown, as you see in this photo, add remaining ingredients. For convenience, have remaining ingredients pre-mixed in a large bowl.

In fact, if you intend to cook this chili at camp, leave out the water and mix the remaining ingredients in an empty 1/2 gallon milk jug at home. When you get ready to cook, pull the jug from an ice chest, dump it in the Dutch oven, then add water.

Chili on the fire

Chili on the fire

After adding remaining ingredients, leave pot over high heat until mixture boils. Boil mixture for 5 minutes, then raise or move pot over low heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.

If you like, let it simmer for 3 or 4 or even 5 hours. There is nothing like sitting around a campfire and watching a pot of something delicious slowly simmering over the fire. The cook can relax because every minute or so someone will walk over to the pot and start stirring whatever is inside it.

I used a 4 quart camp Dutch oven. Notice that the recipe filled it to the brim. Some of it dripped into the fire, but who cares? If you use a 5 quart Dutch oven, you can add another can of Ranch Style or Chili Style beans.

I started my fire around noon, browned the meat around 2 pm, and around 7 pm, my sister and I ate some mighty fine chili.

Use a 5 quart Dutch oven and you can prepare this recipe in your kitchen.

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