Field to Table: 3 Unique Ways to Make Venison Chili

 By now, most hunters have their own “secret recipe” for venison chili. Although, sometimes those secret recipes can be confused with boring – especially if it’s the same way you’ve been fixing chili for years.

Instead, look to trying one of these three unique dishes, which are probably unlike anything else in your cookbook. They’re sure to bring a different flavor, and maybe inspire you to change up that old secret formula.

BBQ Venison Chili

Someone once told me that their secret ingredient to a chili cookoff winning recipe was a can of barbecue beans. They wouldn’t give me their recipe, but after some experimental batches I’ve found a combination that could win an award of its own.

Now this recipe tends to create a sweeter chili, with just a little bit of kick. I think it’s a great changeup for those who want a flavor besides hot, and friendly to those who don’t want each bite to come with a drink of water. These ingredients that can be found at any grocery store.

  • 1 lb of ground venison
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can (22 oz) of southern pit barbecue grilling beans, undrained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15.25 oz) of corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup of water
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground venison and diced onion until meat is browned.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Dirty Details:

Difficulty: 2/10
Flavor: sweet
Perfect pairing: Since you might be craving some extra spice with this sweet chili, jalapeno butter toast would be welcomed at the table. It’s a great compliment to those who might be thrown off by the lack heat this chili brings.

Venison Chunk Chili

This is the closest to a classic chili recipe of the three, but it doesn’t use ground meat as most do. Instead, this recipe utilizes what most consider “stew meat.”

I’m a big fan of this recipe when in deer camp. It’s perfect to create with a hunk of meat fresh off a whitetail and makes for a memorable dish that will always be associated with that harvest.

It uses simple ingredients and doesn’t take long to throw together. The toughest part is making the small slices of meat tender, which should happen after 90 minutes of simmering in a Dutch oven.

  • 1 lb of venison roast
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cans (16 oz) of kidney beans, drained
  • 3 cans (10 oz) of diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. Slice venison roast into ¼ inch or smaller pieces. Sauté in a Dutch oven with diced onion and diced green pepper.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 90 minutes.

Dirty Details:

Difficulty: 5/10
Flavor: spicy
Perfect pairing: If you throw this recipe together at deer camp, you might find yourself serving this with whatever is within reach. If you have the means, though, a side of coleslaw is refreshing with this chunky, spicy chili.

Venison Pizza Chili

Not normally associated with each other, pizza and chili rarely make it into the same meal together. However, this unique creation should be an exception.

Now, this is one recipe that almost always turns out slightly different each time I make it. There are so many diverse ingredients that can alter the flavor, depending on what kind of venison sausage, salsa, and pizza sauce you use.

Whatever combination of those three you come up with, though, there’s no doubt that this chili will be unlike any other you’ve served before.

  • 2 lbs of ground venison hot Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 can (16 oz) of salsa
  • 1 can (16 oz) of hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can (16 oz) of kidney beans, drained]
  • 1 can (12 oz) of pizza sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (8oz) of mini sliced pepperoni
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground venison, ground sausage, diced onion, and diced green pepper until meat is browned.
  2. Combine everything else in the Dutch oven, besides the cheese and pepperoni. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve, sprinkle the cheese and pepperoni on top and cover with Dutch oven lid for a few minutes until melted.

Dirty Details

Difficulty: 6/10
Flavor: meaty
Perfect pairing: As this chili tends to be a little meatier than most, it goes well next to a light Caesar salad, or whatever you’d normally serve with pepperoni pizza.

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  • Mr.James March 19, 2018, 5:50 pm

    This disciple of arms and there usage increases my hunger! Thanks to all contributor’s. More participation is welcome by my readership.

  • Bruce March 19, 2018, 1:45 pm

    In the venison pizza chili the first line of directions =
    In a Dutch oven, cook ground venison, ground sausage, diced onion, and diced green pepper until meat is browned.
    I see the 2# ground venison hot Italian sausage in ingredients…
    Is that 1# each “ground venison” AND “hot Italian sausage” ??
    Or is something missing?

  • Chris Bolton March 19, 2018, 8:05 am

    Here is my elk chili recipe. It is real tasty and you can’t taste ANY
    gamey flavor. You could even use deer meat. I found the recipe online
    and doubled it and cooked it in a crock pot after browning the meat.
    The original recipe makes 9 cups worth of chili
    1 1/2 pounds ground elk meat
    2 large yellow onions, diced
    2 (10 ounce) cans tomato sauce
    1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
    1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
    1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
    1.5 tablespoons chili powder
    1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    Please be aware that some of the can sizes at Wally World and elsewhere won’t be exactly what the recipe calls for. Get reasonably close.
    30 mins

    1 hr (2hrs if you use a crock pot)

    1 hr 30 mins

    Directions from the Net – In a large deep skillet over medium heat, cook
    the ground elk with the onion until evenly browned. Drain off excess
    grease. Pour the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, kidney beans and green
    chilies into the skillet with the meat, and stir to blend. Season with
    chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano and brown sugar. Cover, and
    simmer over low heat for at least one hour.

    What I do instead – Brown the meat with the onions as above. While the
    meat is browning, dump all other ingredients in a crock pot. Once the
    meat is browned (no longer pink), dump the drained meat and onions into
    the crock pot and let it cook for a couple of hours.

    When you make another batch, tweak the recipe to suit your own tastes.
    I’ve made double batches and use a 2-cup measuring cup to measure out
    1.5 – 2-cup servings into quart freezer bags. Squeeze the air out of them and
    throw them in the freezer when cool. Canning jars work well too. Just throw the frozen chili bags/jars
    into the sink when you leave for work and they’ll be thawed and ready
    to microwave when you come home for dinner.

    • Chris Bolton March 19, 2018, 7:41 pm

      BTW, that’s 1.5lbs. of venison, not (1) half pound.

  • sgtsabai March 19, 2018, 8:00 am

    In Nuevo Mexico del Norte, or northern New Mexico any of these would bring out the “get a rope” gang. Chile is made from red or green powder or crushed pods, and meat. Period! Pinto beans are served as a side and can be added at the time of eating. My great friend and best camp cook ever, Gomercindo Francisco Cristobal Duran III, ah Homer and his mom were some of the best of the best cooks. Never are tomatoes, corn, onions, etc. especially canned goods added. What is being passed off as chile in this article is more Tex-Mex. A stew may have added ingredients, but it is a stew, not chile. I miss my snowy breakfasts at the Elkhorn with my gunsmith, the old ranchers and the history they had, along with real breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros, smothered in “which is hottest today, red or green?”, home fries, fresh hot tortillas, first cup of coffee brought to you, get your own afterward. Great days, now long ago and gone like the folks.

    • 5x5 March 19, 2018, 9:44 am

      There is nothing Tex-mex about these yankee bean soups. Texas Chili is Meat and spice slow cooked. It is very versatile either eaten alone or as a topping . My favorite is a bowl of Texas Red topped with fresh chopped 10-15 onion, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Accompanied with a side of Jalapeno corn bread completes the meal. Or the all time favorite for a Friday night football game, Frito Pie.

      • lukeum March 19, 2018, 1:37 pm

        what really makes em yankee bean soup is a chunk of salt pork made in maine by main-e-aks

  • Jim March 19, 2018, 7:56 am

    Venison Chile

    • Jim Harbolt March 19, 2018, 7:58 am

      This spounds good !

  • Hudson Robert March 19, 2018, 7:39 am

    If it includes beans it is stew.

  • thunderstormr March 19, 2018, 7:20 am

    I like and make chili often. I appreciate your efforts to use up excessive venison but I suggest you call these concoctions something other than Chili. Dumping in cans of corn, pizza sauce or assorted beans moves these way outside the realm of chili. I prefer to omit tomatoes of any fashion too but that is so common that I’ll not comment on that aberration. Meat, onion, chili powder and/or other seasonings are all that is necessary to make venison or beef chili. Next thing you’ll be suggesting is to add some of that old Tom Turkey you just had to kill.

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