The Best Venison Chili Recipe

Are you looking for the best venison chili recipe out there? Well, here it is…

I love all kinds of chili, beef, mushroom, or otherwise, but this venison chili recipe is simply delicious and my hands down favorite.

Feel free to adjust ingredients to your taste, but I would recommend following the main steps.

The Best Venison Chilli Recipe

The Best Venison Chilli Recipe

James
This is quite literally my favourite venison chilli recipe of all time.
It's easy to make, has massive depth of flavour and is truly delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large cooking pot
  • 1 Chopping board
  • 1 Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound smoked back bacon, chopped into mouth-sized pieces
  • 3 inches chorizo, chopped into small cubes
  • 3 pounds venison – minced (ground) or cubed
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree / tomato paste
  • 1/2 pint good quality beef broth
  • 1 can red kidney beans (optional)
  • 1 can pinto beans (optional)
  • 1 can black beans (optional)
  • 2 large squares 90% cocao dark chocolate
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat up a large dutch oven or large skillet. Add the bacon and chorizo and gently fry on a low heat until both are lightly browned.
  • Remove the bacon and chorizo from the pot and set to one side.
  • Now increase the temperature on the hob to a medium-high heat and add the venison.
  • Stir until the meat starts to brown.
  • Add the onion and cook for a further 5 minutes until softened.
  • Now add the rest of the ingredients – garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, chipotle powder, chili powder, tomato paste, beef broth and beans (drained).
  • Add the bacon and chorizo back in.
  • Add chocolate squares.
  • Stir thoroughly.
  • Reduce to a medium heat, place lid on pot and simmer for approx 3 hours.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • If the chilli has a little too much liquid, you can remove the lid for the last part of the cook and allow to reduce down.
  • You can use minced venison (ground deer meat) for this, but my preference is to have cubed. Cubed venison makes for a more substantial dish in my opinion and is also more authentic.
  • Serve with either rice, tortilla chips, baked potato, fries (yes fries), or just have it straight up. I also like it with freshly buttered bread.
  • For toppings, go with some grated cheddar cheese, some sliced green onions, a dollop of sour cream and corn chips.
  • I like to make extra so I can also have it for lunches in the week. It always tastes even better the next day and will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days! Store in an airtight container if you do this, or freeze for future use.
  • Swap chipotle powder for 2 chopped chipotle peppers if you have them.
  • This chili works equally as well with ground beef, elk meat, other wild game or indeed any other lean meat that you can get your hands on. If it’s fresh and good quality, it should be good in a chili. You can also make a vegetarian version out of mushrooms.
  • If you don’t have tomato puree/paste to hand, you can use tomato sauce, just be aware that it will make it taste a bit sweeter.
  • The beans are all entirely optional.
Keyword Chilli, Cubed, Slow cooker, Venison

Can I cook venison chili in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook venison chili in a slow cooker.

Simply do the initial fry in a large skillet or dutch oven and then transfer to the slow cooker when it’s ready for the final cook.

If cooking this way, make sure to not have too much liquid once at the slow cooker stage, as it will not be removed.

Reduce the amount of stock (beef broth) you add and you should be fine.

A slow cooker venison chili is amazing and a great way to cook chili once the main prep work has been done.

It also means you can get on with your day.

What gives chili a rich flavor?

A chili’s rich flavour comes from the ingredients you add, as well as reducing down the liquid to form a more concentrated depth of flavor.

Personally, I think a chili tastes even better once it has had time to sit for a day or so in the fridge.

The flavours just seem to improve.

A good slow cook also helps.

What enhances the flavor of chili?

This is somewhat a matter of opinion and largely comes down to personal taste, but generally speaking a good beef broth or stock is a great way to enhance the flavour of your chili.

Some recipes also call for coffee to be added and molasses.

Chili seasoning is a highly debatable subject, with many strong opinions on the matter.

Some other alternatives include cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, adobo sauce, green chilies and even a bay leaf.

It’s your chili, so do as you wish and experiment a little until you find what works for you.

Should I leave the fat on venison?

Yes, you should leave the fat on venison.

Venison is a very lean meat as it is and if it does have any fat, then this will only help add to the flavour of the dish.

Due to venison being so lean, it is quite common to be adding fat back in, such as some bacon or chorizo.

Simply put, you want some fat in a hearty venison chili, so stop worrying and crack it in.

Does chili get better the longer it sits?

Yes, the longer chili sits the better it gets.

It gives a chance for all the flavors to mix and combine and increases the flavour massively.

Obviously, there is a limit. 1-2 days in the fridge is about max.

If you intend to keep longer then you should freeze.

Does venison chili taste gamey?

No, venison chili does not taste gamey.

In fact, if you are concerned about gameness, then this is probably one of the best venison recipes to try.

The combination of flavours in this easy venison chili recipe takes over and is a guaranteed hit.

Give it a try and you will see.

What is the best thickener for chili?

The best way to thicken a big pot of chili is to leave the lid slightly off while cooking, so that the liquid can evaporate off.

This reduces the chili down to a thicker sauce.

Another method is to add cornflour to the chili, but I would only do this if you have to.

Try reducing it first though.

Does chili taste better the longer it cooks?

Yes, chili tastes better the longer it cooks.

Cooking it for longer gives the flavours more of a chance to develop fully and will improve the dish.

Good chili toppings

There are many toppings you can add to your venison chili.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Green onions (sliced)
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Sliced chili pepper to taste

Looking for more venison goodness? I would highly recommend trying my venison burgers


2 thoughts on “The Best Venison Chili Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    My first try at venison chili. I’m not a game meat fan but my son is a hunter so we have pounds .I’m giving it 5 stars! Easy to prepare and then simmer for 3 hours while you attend to other things. All the herbs and ingredients mellow out game flavor. I did cut back the amount of venison from 3 to 2 pounds because that’s how it was packaged. Really good! Served with fresh sourdough and butter.

    • Thanks Suzanne. I’m really glad you liked it. Sourdough sounds good. I’m going to try that.

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