Oct 28, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Venison Chili {and more Gretna Fest 2013}

Halloween is about the Three Cs.
Candy (You saw that coming).
Costumes (That one too).
And Chili.
Sweet & Spicy Venison Chili from Ms. enPlace
I'm not sure why I associate chili with Halloween since we don't eat chili on Halloween.  I didn't grow up eating chili on Halloween either.

Sweet & Spicy Venison Chili from Ms. enPlace

That's just the kinda gal I am.
And that would be one who makes no sense at all.

Sweet & Spicy Venison Chili from Ms. enPlace

When I make chili, there are a few recipes I rotate.  He-Man Chili (another Halloween post, coincidentally) is The Husband's favorite.  But I think I like this Sweet & Spicy Chili more.

Now about those costumes...and making no sense...
These aren't Halloween costumes.
Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias

These are Mardi Gras Indians.

Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

I came across the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians at Gretna Fest a few weeks ago.  In all the years I lived in New Orleans, I never once saw Mardi Gras Indians.

Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

There are Uptown tribes and Downtown tribes that parade through the back streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day, with seemingly no set route.  They are elusive.
Like Sasquatch.
Only prettier.

Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

Their costumes are elaborate--meticulously planned, created, and hand sewn by the Indians.  These costumes are so ornately crafted they typically take an entire year to create.  Starting right after Mardi Gras and working right up to the next.

Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

The headdresses are huge and I imagine very heavy.  I thought it was tough running around in my Cajun style costume, capuchon, and mask all day chasing chickens.
Cajun Mardi Gras

Can't imagine walking the streets trying to hold these up all day.
Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias

Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias Gretna Fest 2013

More Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias
More Gretna Fest

Print It!

Sweet & Spicy Venison Chili

Olive oil
2 ½ c chopped onion
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 lbs ground venison (or beef)
5 cloves garlic
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced (or to taste)
2 tsp adobo sauce from chipotles
1 (8 oz) can tomato paste
2 T chili powder (or to taste)
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1-2 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, do not drain
Parsley, green onion, chopped red onion, and/or cheese for top

Pour olive oil in large pot to cover the bottom.  Heat oil.  Sauté onion, celery, and bell pepper until soft.  Add ground venison (or beef), garlic, and chipotle peppers and brown.  Drain excess grease if needed.  Add adobo sauce, tomato paste, and seasonings.  Sauté until fragrant (a few minutes), stirring.  Add diced tomatoes (undrained) and enough water to cover the meat mixture.  Simmer about 2 hours, adding water if needed.  Skim grease from pot.  Serve, adding desired toppings to individual bowls.

Linking with:


  1. Opening weekend is this weekend and I'm so hoping that Engineer has better luck this year than he did last year filling my freezer with venison. Your recipe looks wonderful!

  2. On my to make list! Thanks Michelle.

  3. I like your chili!
    I know it's not for me, but I can substitute the beef for ground soy-beans (I've done it before)
    It's perfect for winter time :) (If and when winter decides to be here...)

    Have a great Halloween Michelle

  4. I dream of one day visiting New Orleans, and even more so of visiting during Mardi Gras - you just made me want that a whole lot more. Those costumes are stunning, and I can scarcely imagine the amount of work and effort that goes into making them.

    Incidentally, Halloween is not much celebrated here in New Zealand, but if it was I would happily chow down on a bowl of that chilli

  5. Oh Michelle I am so going to try to remember your Venison Chili Recipe next time my son comes visiting. He could eat venison every day, and I am sure I have some venison hamburg still in the freezer. x

  6. This looks AWESOME! Finding delicious ways to cook venison are a necessity. My husband didn't end up putting in for the hunt this year, but I'm saving this recipe for next year AND sharing with my family members who had a successful hunt this year! :)
    Please stop by and link this up to Delicious Dish Tuesday! <3 (Also, looking for See Ya in The Gumbo for this week and not seeing it. Will check back in a bit and hope to link up!) :)

  7. Your chili looks and sounds delicious and warming - the perfect thing to eat before Trick or Treating! I like the idea of using venison as an alternative to beef too. What wonderful pictures you have shared as well. Those costumes are amazing!

  8. The next time my boys are lucky at the hunt we will be trying your awesome chili! Hope you are having a great day and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

  9. Thank you so much for linking this up to DDT (and for reminding me to share with my family)! :)
    Hope to see you back at DDT tonight with another great recipe! <3


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.