Camp Chili

Camp chili can be made with any red meat.  I've made this recipe with beef, venison (deer), nilgai, wild pig, and  jackrabbit. If available, I use pan fried bacon and sausage to add an extra richness to the taste.   That's the best thing about chili - its so heavily seasoned that just about any red meat can be used.  However, I do have a couple of rules.  First, I never use white meat, and second I never use beans.


  • 1 lb red meat (beef, venison, wild pig, etc.)
  • 1/2 to 1  pound smoked sausage
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tabasco or jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • cajun seasoning mix (homemade, Chachere's or Zatarain's)

Browning meat: 

  • Fry bacon in a heavy walled cast iron or aluminum pot.  Remove bacon and crumble.
  • Dice sausage, and brown in bacon grease.  Remove sausage.
  • Brown meat in bacon-sausage grease.  Remove meat.
  • Drain off excess grease.
Sauté Vegetables:
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and hot peppers and sauté in a small amount of the grease.
  • Add the meat back to the mixture
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, diced stewed  tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes & green chilies, tomato sauce, chili powder, and enough water to cover the mixture. 
  • I do not like a strong tomato taste in chili, which is why I like to use about half tomato sauce and half diced tomatoes/ Rotel tomatoes & green chilies. 
  • After the chili cooks for a while, add cajun seasoning mix (homemade, Chachere's or Zatarain's) to taste. 
  • If you like a stronger chili taste, add more chili powder and/or cumin.  If your chili powder is old, you may have to use more.
  • Cook with the pot covered under low heat so the mixture simmers (lightly boils).  Stir enough that the meat does not stick and burn - using a heavy walled pot helps prevent sticking/burning.   Cook for an hour, or until the meat is tender.
  • Let the chili set on low heat for about 1/2 hour, then skim off grease.
Add the garnish: 
  • When almost done, add the chopped green onion tops and parsley.
©David Wm. Reed