When cooler weather rolls in and you find yourself needing a bigger coat, it’s that time of year again – chili-eating season. There’s just something comforting about a big bowl of hearty chili when it’s cold out, and this recipe with mangoes and venison really turns up the heat.
Loaded with venison, pork sausage and a variety of beans, this unique chili recipe will not only whet your appetite, but also dazzle your taste buds with incredible flavor. The combination of habaneros, jalapeños and mangoes deliver a delicious sweet kick of flavor in every bite.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 1 pound sweet Italian ground sausage
- 3 cups chopped mangoes (frozen or fresh)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans in chili sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2-3 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 3 large jalapeño peppers, chopped finely
- 3 habanero peppers, chopped finely
- 1 (11.2-ounce) bottle Guinness Extra Stout (or your favorite stout)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chives for topping
- Sharp knives for prepping the fruits and vegetables (I use an OKC Agilite Chef’s Knife, serrated Bread Knife, and Paring Knife)
- Cutting board
- Large stock pot or CanCooker, with lid
- Wooden spoon or strong spatula
- In a large stock pot (or CanCooker – scroll down to the bottom of this recipe for complete CanCooker instructions), brown ground venison and Italian sausage. Use a wooden spoon or strong spatula to break up the meat so it cooks evenly. The Italian sausage should provide enough fat to the pot to prevent the venison from sticking to the bottom, but if needed, you can add a little oil. Using a CanCooker Jr. with non-stick coating on the inside helps too – plus, it’s really easy to clean afterwards.
- Once all of the ground meat has browned, add all remaining ingredients, except the cheese, sour cream and chives, to the pot. Stir the contents in the pot until everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Cover stock pot with a lid and let venison chili simmer over low heat for 2 hours (or longer). Give the chili a stir every 20-30 minutes to prevent the bottom from burning.
- Remove the pot from heat. Serve hot venison chili in bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chives.
How to make this Spicy Mango Venison Chili Recipe in a CanCooker
For easy clean up, use a CanCooker to make this venison chili recipe!
If you’re like me, all about convenience and minimal clean up, you should make this venison chili in a CanCooker. You can use the CanCooker Original or the smaller CanCooker Jr. I like the CanCooker Jr. because the non-stick coating on the inside makes it effortless to clean and its two-gallon capacity holds this recipe perfectly.
A CanCooker is the perfect cooking system to use when you need to feed a large group of people, and you can cook with it just about anywhere too. You can heat up a CanCooker on a variety of heat sources, such as your kitchen stovetop, the grill, a portable cooktop, or even over a campfire.
This Spicy Mango Venison Chili Recipe makes 10 generous servings, so it’s made for sharing. When you pull out a CanCooker to make it at deer camp, you can be sure your hunting buddies will thank you. Using a CanCooker for this venison chili recipe is a no-brainer!
- Spray the inside of a CanCooker with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add ground venison and Italian sausage to the cooker; brown meat over medium-heat. Once the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, reduce the heat to low and add all remaining ingredients (except for the topping: cheese, sour cream, and chives) to the cooker. Stir everything together. Latch on the CanCooker’s lid and continue to cook over low heat.
- Once you see steam venting from the lid (after about 20 minutes), open the lid and stir chili. Be careful when opening the lid – it will be hot!
- Re-latch the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid again, stir chili, re-latch lid, and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Total cooking time should be approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. You can cook longer, just remember to stir the contents in the cooker every 30 minutes to prevent burning.
Tips and Techniques for This Spicy Mango Venison Chili Recipe
1. Use a quality set of kitchen knives to prep the fruits and vegetables.
A good, sharp set of knives is essential in any kitchen and a must-have when preparing the ingredients in this recipe. Use a chef’s knife to cut firm vegetables like the onions and peppers, a serrated knife to dice soft fruits like the mangoes, and a paring knife to mince garlic.
The Agilite line from Ontario Knife Company is a great set of kitchen knives for everyday use. (The steak knives cut into a venison steak like it’s butter!) I highly recommend the Agilite knives because they’re comfortable in the hand, lightweight, and the blades are made of durable carbide steel.
If you’re an old-school chef, you might opt for OKC’s Old Hickory knives. Featuring high-carbon steel blades and hardwood handles, these rustic/classic beauties are stronger and sharper than traditional stainless-steel knives. Old Hickory knives aren’t for the average home chef though, as they require a little extra TLC compared to traditional kitchen knives. If not oiled often and taken care of properly, the blades will rust.
2. Wear gloves when working with the jalapeños and habaneros.
All peppers, except the bell variety, contain the chemical capsaicin and it is the main source of a pepper’s heat. For those with a taste for spice, capsaicin creates a delightful fiery sensation in the mouth. When capsaicin comes in contact with your skin, however, it can cause a painful burning sensation that is not easy to get rid of. To avoid this, wear food-safe gloves when handling and prepping spicy peppers and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
I once neglected to wear gloves while cutting habaneros and oh man, my hands felt like they were on fire! No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the burning to stop. I ended up soaking my hands in a bowl of milk all night long to ease the pain. Don’t make this rookie mistake like I did; wear gloves!
3. If cutting onions makes you cry, wear goggles when you slice them.
Slicing into a raw onion creates a complex chemical reaction which releases the chemical syn-Propanethial S-oxide, a gas that can irritate your eyes. To protect your eyeballs, try wearing a pair of snug-fitting goggles. I keep a pair of riding goggles handy in my kitchen and slap those bad boys on whenever I need to chop up some onions. I may look ridiculous doing it, but hey, it sure does the trick! Freezing an onion for about 15 minutes before slicing it, or using a food processor to chop it up are also effective ways to prep an onion without tearing up.
4. Can’t take the heat, or like your chili extra hot? Adjust the spiciness in this venison chili recipe as needed.
If you want to tone down the spice in this venison chili recipe, remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeño and habanero peppers. The white pith (where the seeds attach) contain the most capsaicin, so it’s the spiciest part of the pepper. Also, the more yellow the inside of the pepper is, the spicier it’s likely to be.
To take the heat up a notch, add additional jalapeños and habaneros, or give it a boost using your favorite hot sauce.