Beet and Bacon Chili with Venison

Last week, I posted a recipe for Pineapple Chili. Today's recipe is a variation on that same chili. Instead of canned pineapple, I used a roasted beet to add sweetness. The bacon adds a salty depth of flavor to the chili. If you don't have access to ground venison, you can substitute beef, lamb, turkey, or pork. So many possibilities!

I love making chili in the winter. It's so comforting and warming. And it's full of healthy stuff! Ground venison is high in protein and low in fat. I have a variety of veggies in this chili, but you can always switch things up, add more or different veggies if you wish. I sometimes add cocoa powder, which would work well with venison, along with the spices. Get creative!


2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 large jalapenos, chopped
12 baby carrots, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 pound ground venison (or other ground meat)
1-2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 TB chili powder, or more
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 large beet, roasted, peeled, and chopped
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
15 oz. can black beans

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven, cook bacon over low heat until all the fat is rendered. Remove bacon pieces and drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

In bacon fat, saute onions for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the rest of the veggies, one by one, stirring often, and cook until softened. Add seasonings. Move veggies to the side of pan and add venison, crumbling meat into small pieces. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream, grated Mexican cheese, sliced avocado, and tortilla cheese. Or serve with anything you like! Makes at least 4 hefty servings. Enjoy!