Instant Pot Venison Chili

On my travels this week I’ve come to Northern England where I’m discovering the delights of locally sourced venison meat from Yorkshire. In my home landscape of hills and dales, there is a lot to be celebrated.

There is a plethora of farm shops serving great local food dotted around the small villages and hamlets in the countryside, all born from the need for rural communities to diversify over recent decades in the wake of a changing rural economy. Most recently, with the unknown impact from changes to agricultural policy in a post Brexit landscape, it is as important as ever to support these resourceful businesses. 

These changing patterns of rural landscapes are not confined to my home country. We often would head North out of Chicago into the Wisconsin borders and beyond to be greeted by warm and welcoming country specialty meat and grocery stores. 

So when my mum asked me to give her a lesson in how to use her new Instant Pot yesterday, I picked up some local venison for our dinner and we put together a quick and tasty chili. We diced the venison into 1/2 inch cubes to maintain some texture, and after cooking for 25 minutes on manual pressure, stirred in a half ounce of dark chocolate to add an intensity to the flavors of the sauce. In the week before the holidays, venison is a wonderful lean protein which delivers on flavor and is a perfect replacement for beef or pork.

Fast cook or slow cook, this is a gift for the host of a tree-trimming party with friends!

Instant Pot Venison Chili
Prep Time: 10m , Cook Time: 25m, **Total Cook Time: 35m, Time Servings 4-6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups / 1 large white onion, diced
  2. 2 tsp garlic / 4 cloves, minced
  3. 1 1/4 lbs venison, diced
  4. 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder *
  5. 1/4 tsp oregano, ground
  6. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  7. 1/2 tsp cumin
  8. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  11. 1 x 14oz can diced tomatoes
  12. 1/2 oz dark chocolate
  13. 1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. heat oil in the Instant Pot on sauté function medium and sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes
  2. add the diced venison to the pot and brown for 2 minutes
  3. stir in the *ancho chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, salt, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, dark chocolate, and water
  4. secure the Instant Pot lid and pressure valve to Sealing
  5. press the Manual button and adjust the cook time to 25 minutes and allow to cook
  6. turn the dial to Venting and use Quick Pressure Release (see notes below)
Notes
  1. **Total Cook Time: refers to the time from when you set the Instant Pot until the food is ready to eat and has completed either Quick Pressure Release (QPR) or Natural Pressure Release (NPR): includes time to reach pressure, cook time & release
  2. using QPR or NPR depends on what you are cooking. Avoid QPR with recipes that may produce foam (beans, rice, oatmeal) or when the pot is full of liquid such as soup because hot spray may be emitted at pressure from the valve. For big cuts of meat, consider NPR similar to allowing meat to rest after cooking.
  3. *substitute all the spices for 1 packet Southwest Fiesta Slow Cooker Spice Blend at www.thezenofslowcooking.com
the zen of slow cooking http://www.blog.thezenofslowcooking.com/
Slow Cooker Venison Chili
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 7-8 hours LOW / 3 hours HIGH, Servings 4 - 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups / 1 large white onion, diced
  2. 2 tsp garlic / 4 cloves, minced
  3. 1 1/4 lbs venison, diced
  4. 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder *
  5. 1/4 tsp oregano, ground
  6. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  7. 1/2 tsp cumin
  8. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  11. 1 x 14oz can diced tomatoes
  12. 1/2 oz dark chocolate
  13. 1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. heat the oil in a skillet on medium and sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes
  2. add the venison to the onions and brown for 2 minutes
  3. add the onion, garlic and venison mixture to the slow cooker
  4. stir in the *ancho chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, salt, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chocolate, and water
  5. cover and cook on LOW: 7-8 hours or HIGH: 3 hours
Notes
  1. *substitute all the spices for 1 packet Southwest Fiesta Slow Cooker Spice Blend at www.thezenofslowcooking.com
the zen of slow cooking http://www.blog.thezenofslowcooking.com/
Zen Moment

“Every December, I host a tree-trimming party. I serve chili with cornbread and lots of good wine. It’s a wonderful party, and it shows how much adults like to play.”

-Maya Angelou 

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