On an oak picnic table, a white bowl with cobalt blue trim holds a rich colored chili garnished with diced white onions and shredded cheddar cheese. To the side is a red checked tea towel holding two thick slices of golden corn bread.

Howdy y’all, and thanks for stopping by the website! This weekend, my grandson nabbed him a deer. He called on Grandpa to come help him process the deer, and in exchange, I received some Venison. If you watch the video, there’s some good information about how to process the deer and get the best cuts of meat. You’ll also learn how to make a darn good bowl of chili.

The Main Course

When the skies are gray and the weather is cold and wet, nothing hits the spot like a piping hot bowl of delicious, rich chili. This recipe is for chunked venison (round roast from the hind quarters – 1 ½ – 3 pounds), but you can use a good beef chuck roast or any dark meat.

Tip: Once the venison is chunked, inspect each piece and remove any silver skin or fat. Venison fat is not tasty. 

Once the meat is roughly chopped, rub the flour and Mesquite seasoning all over. Add to pre-heated cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and sauté with a diced white onion. When onions are translucent and the meat is mostly cooked, set aside.

Put the Chili in the Chili

The rich stew that we all know as chili is named as it is because the big flavors come from – you guessed it – chilis! To make an authentic venison chili, you will boil tomatoes, chilies (two cascabel and one ancho), and whole garlic cloves. 

When the chilies are tender and the skin has cracked on the tomatoes, drain the boiling water off and put the whole vegetables in a blender. Blend until pureed and run through a strainer to remove the skins and seeds. This will add so much more flavor than just adding some chili powder, I guarantee it. 

Add a little beef broth, tomato paste, and our Chili Seasoning to the stock pot with the strained veggies. Another way to reduce the gaminess out of the venison is to add a can of beer. You can use dark ale or light ale – whatever you prefer. The alcohol will cook off and make the flavor even richer. 

Traditional Mexican Chili Flavors

All of the Mexican cowboy cooks I ever knew would add a little cinnamon and cocoa powder to their chili. This reduces the gamey flavor of venison and also adds a dark richness to the stew that is delicious.

To Bean or Not to Bean?

To those of you that aren’t from America, particularly the Southern United States, let me tell y’all something. There are some good-natured rivalries between the different states or areas around here, like our college football teams, who has the best barbecue, things like that. 

Nothing, and I mean nothing, will start a heated argument faster than putting together two types of people: Those who eat beans in their chili and those who don’t. This can get as heated as it does when someone insults your mama, rest her soul. I’m just saying – if you come to the South, don’t start a debate about beans in the chili unless you can back that up. That’s all I’m saying.

In my family, we always added beans to chili because it was a good way to make food go further because we had a lot of mouths to feed. So to this chili, I add two cans of drained kidney beans. Y’all can add them or not, just please keep it civil. 😉

Simmer 

The longer you simmer the chili, the more the flavors will meld together to create a hearty, filling bowl of goodness. If you add beans, stir occasionally to prevent burning. 

A white and blue bowl containing rich, hearty venison chili, garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and diced white onion. On a picnic table with a red tea towel and two slices of cornbread.

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Venison Chili - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 Cascavel chilies dried
  • 1 ancho chili dried
  • 4 roma tomatoes whole
  • 4 garlic cloves whole
  • 2 pounds chunked deer roast or beef chuck roast
  • ½ to 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Kent Rollins’ Mesquite Seasoning or all-purpose seasoning of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ to ¾ cup light or dark beer optional
  • 2 15.5 ounce cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Kent Rollins’ Chili Seasoning or Chili Seasoning of your choice

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, add the Cascavel chili, ancho chili, tomatoes, and garlic cloves. Cover with water and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the skins of the tomatoes crack.
  2. Strain the water and place the contents in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Strain the contents with a colander and set aside.
  3. Add the deer meat to a large bowl. Toss in the flour and Kent Rollins’ Mesquite Seasoning, until well coated.

  4. Add the oil to a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meat begins to brown. Stir in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. To a medium stockpot, add the blended chili mixture and deer meat. Stir in the beef broth, cocoa powder, cinnamon, beer, kidney beans, and Kent Rollins’ Chili Seasoning. Place over medium-low heat and cook over a simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.