Snowstorm Venison Chili


On Saturday, we were hit by a super untimely snowstorm. Up to this point from what my research has revealed, the Lehigh Valley (PA) has only had a major snow occurrence (not sure where it goes from minor to major, but that’s what the weather website said) and it was 2.2″ in 1925!!! Well unofficial measurements on my deck for this one: 6.25″
My trees are still mostly green, and with all those leaves, the branches bent almost to the ground. I went out and with the help of a rake, shook the snow off the bending branches before they could snap, like three times yesterday. We lost power around noon, so there goes my ‘corn maze, then lazy weekend on the sofa watching movies…’

The last roses from my yard, dug out of the snow and brought in

No power brings back memories of being out during hurricane Isabel, a few years back, when I lived in a house with a well =fail… (For those of you that don’t know how this works: no well pump=no water, shower, toilet, I practically lived at the gym for 7 days, don’t ask…) and I had an electric stove at the time, double fail. So right now I am feeling blessed to have a gas stove so we can cook and we have lots of candles and today we hooked up my generator, to keep the fridge and freezer alive. They keep promising the power will be back by this evening, keeping my fingers crossed.
Here’s what we ate, as no power is no excuse for not having a great meal. Even though I had lots of plans for oven roasted squash with shallot finishing butter or basting oil, and a nice braised stew maybe…


Candle light dinner, Chili and salad with Spring ‘Fall mix’ salad from the garden (dug out from under 3″ of snow. Surprisingly, I got it before it was too late!)


  • 1 1/2 pd ground meat (we used venison, but you could use whatever you like, including turkey)
  • 1 can or equivalent serving frozen dark red kidney beans (if using canned, rinse in a colander to remove excess sodium)
  • 1 can or frozen portion great northern beans or other white beans of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes or a 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or plain homemade sauce)
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp corn meal
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder or 1 tbsp sauce from a can of ‘chipotle in adobo sauce’ (you can add more for extra heat!)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a big heavy pan, add the onions and cook until softened, not browned.
  2. Add the ground venison and separate into chunks using a fork. Cook, stirring occasionally until you can’t see any more pink.
  3. Add the spices and cook, stirring until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes,  1 cup water, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, for flavor to blend a little.
  5. Stir in corn meal and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the Chili becomes nice and thick.
  6. Serve with corn chips or a nice hearty slice of bread

serves 4 hungry folks (5 if you serve more moderate portions)

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