Sustainable Cooking Chili Recipe

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Picture it my husband and I go with 2 friends to a new restaurant in a rather (for lack of a better tern) hipster section of town.  This restaurant is one of those ones where food is ethically sources, sustainability is a often used word and organic is just assumed.  The floorboards are reclaimed barn wood (it feels like we are going to run out of old barns for this trend?).  The location is walkable for the downtown set that find that more convenient.  And it was in this environment that I learned I have been sustainable cooking for years.

Sustainable Cooking Chili Recipe | Favemom.comThe menu of this restaurant contained a a section called “protein”.  Listed below it were dishes containing guinea fowl, wild caught salmon and wild boar.  Turns out none of our party felt like ordering salmon or boar, because–get this?– we each had those exact items in our freezer.  The husbands had gone on a board hunt a few months prior and there had been an Alaskan fishing trip just the week before.  Turns out the distance between sportsman and hipster isn’t as far as we thought.  At least, they tend to eat the same.


I have been cooking sustainably since my husband took up hunting elk in 2011. Ok, I fully recognize that I don’t source my produce sustainably –except for the summer we lived off the garden (my children now hate kale and eggplant).  But turns out I have the proteins section completely in order.  And I guess I could say we have been eating sustainable meats even longer since my father in law was raising cows on his back pasture for the enjoyment of way better tasting meat.

Having this hodgepodge of meats to cook with presents a set of problems –how do I prepare unknown cuts of boar, can an elk roast turn out as juicy as a beef post roast?  How long does it take to marinate the grass taste out of venison.  But that is also part of the adventure.

One thing I know for certain, you an make just about any game meat into a delicious chili.  Thanks to my husband asking me to try something new I created this recipe with deer and elk mixture, with gobs of delicious extras.  (Extras is also code for adding many corn chips –cause seriously, chili is just an excuse to eat corn chips)Sustainable Cooking Chili Recipe |


Sustainable Cooking Chili Recipe


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 lbs ground elk
  • 1/2 lb deer sirloin
  • 1  14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can stout beer
  • 2 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp au ju base (Better Boullion base)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp 90% dark chocolate bar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2  15 oz can’s kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce


  1. Heat oil in pan (or if you have an instant pot use the saute setting)
  2. Cook onions, garlic and meat until brown then place in crock pot
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix gently. Place crockpot on low and cook for 8 hours or high for 4 hours (for Instant pot set to slow cooker medium for 8 hours, high 4 hours or Bean/Chili setting for 30 minutes)
  4. Serve warm with corn chips and cheese on top

Recipe Notes

It’s even better the next day as a leftover.  It will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3-5 days.


Annette Barney

Annette Barney

I live in the mountains of Utah. Yes, I am also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I love hot pink, XC skiing, running, hot chocolate, yoga, romance novels,traveling for fun, volunteering and, of course, origami. I am a woman, a mom, a wife and a daughter of God. I believe that everything tastes better with a little bacon or a little chocolate but not both.