A Man's Meal

I received a request recently for some recipes for "manly men." [you know: hunting, fishing, grunting, country cooking, cars, outdoorsy men. OK, I apologize, that was slightly stereotypical. I did not mean to offend.] The first thing that came to mind was this chili recipe.
Deer meat. Beans. Cheese. Man's food.
(And ladies food!) Mmmm, warm chili and cornbread, cold winter nights, movies with friends-- it is just a good night.
This recipe is homemade but extremely simple. All you have to "cook" is the meat and the mushrooms, and those are cooked together.

Hearty Winter Chili:


Serves: 10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Time cook: 1 hour

1 lb. deer meat (hamburger substitutes in perfectly)
3 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 large can (28 oz.) sauce
1 can (14 oz.) black beans
2 cups diced fresh pumpkin (optional. I just happened to have it in the fridge.)
1 packet chili seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large skillet, cook deer (or beef) on medium high heat until browned. (This is the point where I normally drain off the excess grease and blot meat with a paper towel.)

2. Once browned, add chopped mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Once the mushrooms are almost cooked, combine meat and all of the other ingredients in a large pot, letting it come to a slight boil. Turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for at least 30-45 minutes. (Technically you can eat it as soon as the chili is warmed, but you need to just be patient and wait. Trust me, it is worth the wait.)

4. Once the chili is done, serve in big bowls with lots of love!
I also HIGHLY recommend eating the chili with cheese and sour cream. In my house, anything less than that it sub-par.

5. Enjoy! 

But what is chili without cornbread right?

Old-Fashioned Corn Bread:


serves: 9 large pieces

1 1/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
2 large eggs
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 can of yellow whole kernel corn, keep the juice!
2/3 cup milk or choice
1 Tbs packed brown sugar (or other alternative sweetener)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs baking powder
pinch of black pepper


1. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper, baking powder, and brown sugar in a large bowl.

2. Add eggs, corn and the corn juice, softened butter, and milk. Mix well.

3. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes to an hour, make sure a knife inserted in the middle of the cornbread comes out clean. Gooey cornbread does not make for a happy family.

What automatically comes to your mind when someone says "homemade comfort food?"

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