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Chili

4 lb Rough-ground venison or elk
2 cn Whole, peeled tomatoes
2 lg Cans of tomato paste
6 Plum tomatoes; diced
2 lg Onions; diced fine
1 lb Mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb Fresh mushrooms; sliced thin
4 cl Garlic; minced
5 tb Cumin
2 tb Oregano
1 tb Or 2 tablespoons of chili powder (3 or 4 if the temp is below freezing or it's raining)
3 tb Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper; to taste


You can leave out some of this, or add other things; some say chili isn't chili unless it has a handful of jalapenos swimming around in there, and it's not uncommon to tip a bottle of Jack Daniels over the pot on occasion at camp, either. I like to brown the meat, onions and garlic in the vegetable oil first, then add the dry spices and stir into the meat; that way, the flavor isn't lost in the liquids you add later. Cumin is one of my favorite spices. You can't add too much for me, but some people might prefer less. Next, you add everything else except the cheese, put the heat on low and simmer for at least three hours, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, add the cheese and stir steadily until it's melted. You might want to add some fresh diced onions to the top of the bowl and serve it up with fresh-baked cornbread. Man, home-cooking never was like this.


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