Venison Chili

Venison Chili

One kilo of venison (about 2 pounds) or venison burger (cube the venison into small chunks about 1/2 inch to 1 inch square; if there are any bones, save to use in the chili to enrich the sauce)

2 large onions, sliced
10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
One quart of chicken stock, preferably homemade without salt
4 Tablespoons of chili powder (use plain chili powder, without any salt or other spices in it - you may purchase this at a health food store with bins for spices)
One Tablespoon ground cumin
Two Tablespoons sweet red paprika
One teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Palmful of dried oregano (this is a couple of tablespoons or so) ground
between your hands
3 bay leaves
one teaspoon of kosher salt

Note: This makes a sprightly but not firey chile. If you want to go for the burn, use hamburger or top round and add several jalapeno peppers, seeds and all. No point wasting good venison on fire, so use beef or pork.

1/4 cup olive oil [was other oil]

Brown the venison in batches until brown on all sides. Remove to a dish. When all the venison is browned, saute the onions in the remaining oil. You want the onions to melt but not brown. When the onions have reached the melt stage (about 10 minutes) add the garlic. Don't let the garlic burn. Just let it scent up. Add the browned meat, the stock, the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, paprika, bay leaves, oregano, salt and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a just barely simmering and cover. Simmer gently covered for 3 hours. The meat should be fork tender.

Even though venison is very lean, the chili should be defatted. I do this by letting it cool and then refrigerating the chili overnight. The next day, I remove the fat.

To serve, reheat. Taste for seasoning. Sometimes, I add a bit more cumin. Some like to thicken the chili with masa or fine corn meal. To do this, mix some about 1/4 cup fine corn meal with enough water to make a thin paste (no more than one cup of water). Add this quickly to the chili as it simmers, stir like crazy, or you may get lumps. If you use the masa, be sure to cook the chili for at least another 20 minutes or so, or it may taste pastey.

Coleslaw would be the only salad I'd serve with this. If there's any chili left, and this should feed six adults, it freezes beautifully.

Copyright Notice: (c) Susan Steinsapir, 1994. (hattie at This recipe may not be used in cookbooks, contests, or magazines without written permission.
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