Wild Recipes

Apricot Bear Chili

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Domesticated in China over 4,000 years ago, the tangy and sweet apricot is a nutrient-dense fruit providing fiber, antioxidants, vitamins E and C, and potassium. This round, vibrant orange ball is full of healthy goodness but also provides incredibly versatile flavors to add to recipes. While traditionally thought of as a sweet flavor, apricot can be successfully added to sour, savory, or bitter-themed dishes.

Apricots add a new dimension to chili that I couldn’t have imagined unless I actually ate it myself. The apricots develop a tangy, rich undertone to the dish and highlight the subtly sweet flavor found in the bear meat. The chunks of sweet potato and fresh bites of bell peppers also add to the dish without making it seem too heavy or rich. 

Serves: 4-6
Time to Make: 1.5 hours
Also Works With: Wild pig, antelope, venison, elk

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Apricot Bear Chili

Recipe by Lindsey Bartosh
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Wild Recipes


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  • 1 and ½ pounds ground meat

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 large bell peppers, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons allspice

  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 12 oz. apricot-flavored beer

  • 15 oz. apricot puree

  • 2 cans kidney beans (15 oz. each)

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus an extra scoop of sauce


  • Add one tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Once oil is slightly heated, after two or three minutes, add the chopped onion. Stir to prevent from sticking, and let onion soften for five minutes.
  • Add the bell peppers to the pot and cook an additional three minutes. I prefer to use a variety of colors for the bell peppers, but any bell pepper is suitable.
  • Add garlic to the pot and cook an additional two minutes, taking care to not let the garlic brown.
  • Add the ground meat to the pot. I used bear meat for this recipe, but any wild game meat would taste fantastic, especially pronghorn, elk, or deer.
  • Let the meat brown for a few minutes.
  • Season the pot with chili powder, cumin, allspice, ground coffee, and salt. Stir everything to fully coat.
  • Add the beer and apricot pulp to the pot. Stir.
  • Add kidney beans, diced sweet potatoes, and minced chipotle peppers. To intensify the heat of the chili, add more chipotle peppers or some of the sauce from the can.
  • Bring pot to a simmer and cover. Cook the chili for one hour, which will allow the flavors to fully develop. Taste to see if more salt is needed.
  • Chili can be garnished with fresh onion, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro; for even more heat, add pickled or fresh jalapeños.
  • Enjoy!

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Lindsey Bartosh

Lindsey Bartosh lives in southeastern Utah where she spends her time hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. She runs a website, huntingandcooking.com, and also a weekly radio show about seeking, pursuing, and processing wild game.

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